Preschool Library Visit for Bilingual Families

Each spring, we get a visit from some parent/child classes for Latino families offered by the local ECFE (early childhood family education). It's a fun experience for me, but a little different since I have to remember to take breaks in the tour script to allow the teacher to translate my English to Spanish. We do a storytime the same way. Each class has about 10 or 15 kids.

So this year for the storytime part, I wanted to incorporate Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd. I noticed we had two dog themed books in our Spanish and bilingual books collection, 10 Little Puppies/Diez perritos by Alma Flor Ada, and ¡Perros! ¡Perros!/Dogs! Dogs! By Ginger Foglesong Guy. 

Perros! Perros!/Dogs! Dogs!: A Story in English and Spanish[Cover][Cover]

I didn't go totally themey, but chose some songs and rhymes I thought would be fun and that would work in Spanish or English

For a rhyme, I selected Walking, Walking, which I got from this presentation.
Walking, walking (repeat)
Hop, hop, hop (repeat)
Running, running, running (repeat)
Now let's stop (repeat). 

We said it once in English and then I had the teacher lead it in Spanish.

We opened with Hola Amigo by Dr. Jean, sang Mi Cuerpo Hace Musica by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael, and finished with Tu Ti Ta (Dr. Jean's Spanish version of Tooty Ta). Both the parents and the kids found this one exceptionally silly. 

To top it off, I found a dog puppet to use in introducing the theme. We talked a little about what a dog says in English and how it was almost the same as in Spanish.

After storytime we went for a little tour highlighting some of the collections and services of particular interest. I was pleased to see that a few families signed up for library cards, and even more stayed to explore and hang out at the library after the class was over. One little boy in the second class took a shine to me after he found the Spiderman puzzle we have and I offered to help him put it together. He proceeded to have a conversation with me about Spiderman in Spanglish. The teacher from the class told me later that she didn't even know he knew some English! That really reminded me how important and powerful print motivation is.



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