So, you know when you just have a great storytime, and the kids are in to it, and everything works out as planned….that was this storytime. Don’t you love it when that happens? Hallelujah!
I was so worried that Sharks were going to be too scary…children would cry…parents would complain….etc. Nope. They loved it. I guess it’s kinda like dinosaurs. Kids love sharks.
So now go have your own awesome Shark Week storytime. Here’s the plan:
OPENING SONG: Can’t Wait to Celebrate
THEME & NONFICTION: Shark Facts
I printed out some pictures of different sharks with a few “fun facts” on the back of each one. I heard a few adults in the room say “wow…really?….did you know that?” when we were going over the facts. So this was enjoyed by all!
FINGERPLAY: Two Little Sharks
The fingerpuppets come from Repeat Crafter Me. Sarah provides instructions and a template! So cute!
Here’s the verse I came up with:
Two little sharks, in the deep blue sea
One named Leonard and one named Lee
Swim away Leonard, swim away Lee
Come back Leonard, come back Lee!
Here’s another verse from Piper Loves the Library:
Two hungry sharks swimming on a wave
One named Dorothy, one named Dave
Chomp, chomp, Dorothy. Chomp, chomp, Dave.
Swim away Dorothy. Swim away Dave!
BOOK 1/STORYTELLING: Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Feist
This book is a retelling of “The Three Little Pigs,” but the Little Pigs = Little Fish and the Big Bad Wolf = Big Bad Shark. I found the idea for adapting this book at Mel’s Desk – you can read all of her instructions here! I didn’t make my own artwork like she did though. I took a shortcut and photocopied pictures from the book and glued them onto blue paper. Here’s what it all looked like….
The very brief version of the story goes something like this:
Mama Fish tells her three little fishies that the time has come for each of them to make their own home. So off they go into the deep blue sea.
The first little fish makes his house out of seaweed, but the Big Bad Shark comes knocking at the door….
Shark: “Little fish, little fish let me come in.”
Fish: “Not by the skin of my finny fin fin!”
Shark: “Then I’ll munch and I’ll crunch and I’ll smash your house in!” The Shark munches his house and the little fish swims off.
The second little fish makes his house out of sand, but the Shark comes knocking again and munches his house.
The third little fish is clever. She makes her house in an abandoned ship, and when the Shark tries to munch her house…all of his teeth fall out!
Without any teeth, Sharky has to eat seaweed from now on. And the three little fish live happily ever after.
The pictures of the houses made from seaweed and sand are made to flip over. Here’s the front of the first two houses, as well as the Big Bad Shark.
Here’s the flip-side of the seaweed and sand houses once the shark has eaten them, and here’s Sharky with no teeth!
ACTION SONG: Baby Shark (Non-Dismemberment Version) by Johnny Only
I learned this song when I was a kid at camp. But we always sang it with a “shark attack” ending in which limbs were lost, one by one, until the eventual drowning. I figured that wasn’t appropriate for a preschool storytime. Luckily, a “non-dismemberment” version of the song exists! Hilarious. (P.S. It’s catchy. You’ll be singing this one all day.)
Check out the actions in this YouTube video:
FLANNEL RHYME: Five Sharks in the Bathtub
I’ve done it before with Elephants, so I figured…why not sharks? Everyone gets a kick out of the end of this one when you knock the whole thing off the flannel board (on “it all fell in!”)
One shark in the bathtub going for a swim.
Knock, knock (clap hands twice)
Splash, splash (slap your knees twice)
Come on in! (wave to enter with both hands)
(Repeat with two sharks, three sharks, four sharks…)
Five sharks in the bathtub going for a swim.
It all fell in! (knock everything off of the board!)
Here’s a scan of my flannel that you can use as a template. (pdf)
If you print this, I made this flannel to fit on a legal size (8.5 x 14) piece of paper.
BOOK 2: The Little Fish Who Cried Shark by Trish Phillips
A pop-up! This one is a retelling of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” In this version, a naughty little fish named Sprat thinks it’s funny to scare all of this friends by yelling “Shark!” The text rhymes, but it can be a little dense for young ones. It works to tell this one in your own words with each pop-up page. The pictures and pop-ups are awesome – especially the large shark at the end!
FLANNEL RHYME: Five Little Fishies Swimming in the Sea
Five little fishies, swimming in the sea,
Teasing Mr. Shark “You Can’t Catch Me!”
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be…
And(clap hands) SNAPS that fishy right out of the sea.
(Repeat with four fish, three fish, two fish, and one fish…)
So alone swims Mr. Shark as quiet as can be
And he looked and he looked…
“No more fishies for me.”
Here’s a scan of my flannel that you can use as a template. (pdf)
This is made to print on 8.5 x 11 size paper – 3 pages.
ACTIVITY: Feed the Shark!
A coworker made this really cool shark using an empty baby wipe box. The idea comes from Toddler Approved, where Kristina made a giant size shark to feed!
For this activity, I scattered the fish around the room and let the children “go fishing” to collect a few. Then I asked everyone with a red fish to come up and feed the shark…..everyone with a yellow fish…..and then everyone with a green fish.
The shark is make from laminated cardstock, the teeth are made from white stiffened felt, and the inside of the container is lined with red paper. The teeth are glued to the cardstock with E6000 adhesive (which is the best glue ever for felt…well for anything really!)
Shark Template (pdf)
I also had a shark puppet that they could feed. I thought they might be scared, but they enjoyed feeding the puppet too!
I’m a Shark by Bob Shea
If I had had more time, I was planning to read this one in storytime too. I love this silly shark who isn’t afraid of anything….not shots, not scary movies, not dinosaurs, not bears……well, except there is one thing he’s afraid of. Spiders! (I might like this one so much because I can sympathize with this shark. Spiders are scary.) Shark’s facial expressions are perfect; you’ll laugh-out-loud with this one.
Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt
Timothy Pope takes his brand new telescope to the park. But – oh my goodness – what IS that? Is that a shark in the park?! When you turn the die-cut page, you find out that it’s only the ear of a black cat…or a crow…..or dad’s coiffed hair. A fun rhyming story with bright illustrations.
Sharratt also has a sequel called Shark in the Dark. It follows the same storyline as Shark in the Park – except that little Timmy is looking at the stars through a telescope. Note that it’s a completely different story than the book by the same title below by Peter Bently.
Shark in the Dark by Peter Bently
A great read-aloud with rhyming text, and filled with lots of fun facts about fish and sharks. The big, mean, terribly greedy shark wants to snack on all of the little fish in the sea. Will they be able to come up with a plan to out-wit the shark? Just as in the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni, the fish work together to form a giant whale to scare away the shark.
Shark Kiss, Octopus Hug by Kevin Cornell
Review from Amazon: “Charlie the shark and Olivia Octopus were the best friends the ocean had ever seen. All Charlie wanted was a hug. Olivia desperately wished for a kiss. This is the story of how they both found what they were looking for.” A little bit long for storytime in my opinion, but it’s a sweet story that you could shorten when reading out loud.
Never Take a Shark to the Dentist by Judi Barrett
The subtitle for this book is “and other things not to do.” Each two-page spread shares a piece of advice of something that you should NOT do. For example, you should not take a centipede shopping, or hold hands with a lobster, etc. Clever and funny. (Note that there is only one page about sharks though.)