Nearly every week, I feature one letter from the alphabet as my theme in my preschool storytimes. This is tremendously helpful for me as new librarian because it’s doing a lot to broaden my knowledge of our collection. I choose books with titles that star my letter of the week, including (if possible) a nonfiction title that’s appropriate for this age. My nonfiction book usually winds up being about an animal and around the half the time, I get really lucky and find a picture book to go with that animal.
For instance, this week we did H’s and here was my spread:
I also take things one step further and, just before my second book, I introduce the actual letter using a puppet. Using this week as my example again, here is Henrietta Hare.
My puppets wake up from their pocket behind the flannel board, greet the children, and then I ask them to explain the sound our letter makes. After practicing the sound with the children, I ask our puppet to help us play I Spy.
This what our board looks like initially because I have a couple children who will come into storytime, see our letter ready in the corner, and immediately start blurting out the things they see that start with H. When it’s time to play, the mystery covers come off to reveal…
theme-appropriate clipart! The game proceeds with everyone saying, “I spy something that starts with [letter.]” I go on to hint which ones they may be, like so, “It’s really big and swims in rivers.” When we find the word, our puppet pronounces it with emphasis on the first letter. My puppets with functional mouths sometimes eat the words that don’t begin our letter.