Guest Post: Garden-themed Signing Storytime with Dawn Babb Prochovnic

Today I’m featuring a guest post from Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the excellent Story Time with Signs and Rhymes series (more about that here), about her just-released picture book, Lucy’s Blooms, and blooming garden-themed storytime plan for you!

Take it away, Dawn!


Hello readers and signers!

Kathy was kind enough to invite me back to her blog to write a guest post to celebrate the upcoming release of my latest book, Lucy’s Blooms, a multigenerational story about a young girl who learns from her grandmother about the enduring nature of love, the strength in rejecting labels, and the wisdom in standing with those who are different.

I thought the best way to celebrate would be to share an American Sign Language story time lesson plan that incorporates the gardening themes in the book. So let’s dig in!

Gardening-Themed Signing Story Time Lesson Plan featuring Lucy’s Blooms

NOTE:  This lesson plan is geared for a digital/remote storytime format. Feel welcome to modify appropriately once remote services are no longer necessary in your service area.

Welcome, Icebreaker, and Introductions

Screen share and/or share the link for a resource that illustrates the handshapes of the ASL alphabet. 

Introduce yourself by fingerspelling your name. Invite participants to introduce themselves by fingerspelling their names. Practice fingerspelling L-U-C-Y.

Introduce Five Words that Participants Can Listen for and Sign Along With When You Read the Book

Here are links to some reputable video-based resources for the selected ASL vocabulary words, along with some brief reminder notes to help jog your memory as you are learning the signs:

  • BLOOMS (flower): Fingers move from one side of nostril to the other
  • DANCE: Two fingers dance on palm of other hand
  • GRAM (grandmother): Five handshape moves away from chin
  • WATER: “W” handshape taps on chin
  • WHISTLE: “F” handshape makes whistling gesture near mouth

Read: Lucy’s Blooms by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Illustrated by Alice Brereton
West Margin Press

Invite all participants to sign the American Sign Language signs for Gram, blooms, water, whistle, and dance each time they hear these words in the story.

Introduce/Review ASL Vocabulary Words in Preparation for Song

  • BLOOMS (flower): Fingers move from one side of nostril to the other
  • GROW: Like a plant growing out of the ground
  • SOIL: Like feeling granules of sand between your fingers and thumb
  • SUNSHINE: Like a ray of sunlight coming down from the sky
  • WATER: “W” handshape taps on chin
  • YES: Closed fist “nods” yes

Sing! (to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”)
(sign the words in capital letters)

BLOOMS need SOIL. BLOOMS need SOIL
YES they do. YES they do.
Plant your BLOOMS in SOIL. Plant your BLOOMS in SOIL.
Watch them GROW. Watch them GROW.

BLOOMS need WATER. BLOOMS need WATER.
YES they do. YES they do.
Feed your BLOOMS with WATER. Feed your BLOOMS with WATER.
Watch them GROW. Watch them GROW.

BLOOMS need SUNSHINE. BLOOMS need SUNSHINE.
YES they do. YES they do.
Set your BLOOMS in the SUNSHINE. Set your BLOOMS in the SUNSHINE.
Watch them GROW. Watch them GROW.
 

Prepare to Read Book Another Book:

You can find a collection of logical book pairings for this story time theme here.

Example: Read the poem about spring from Four Seasons! Five Senses! by Dawn Babb Prochovnic and Stephanie Bauer (Abdo).

Introduce/Review ASL Vocabulary Words in Preparation for Book/Poem #2:

  • SPRING: A double movement, similar to GROW
  • BLOOMS (flower): Fingers move from one side of nostril to the other
  • BUMBLEBEES (Bee): Like swatting a bee away from your face
  • LOVE: Cross arms over chest
  • RAIN: Like sheets of rain coming down
  • TREE: Bent arm with five handshape moves, like top of tree waving in the wind

Here is the text of the poem:
(sign the words in capital letters)

It is SPRING!
I see pink BLOOMS on bright green TREES.
I hear the buzz of BUMBLEBEES.
I feel wet puddles with my feet.
I smell the air. It’s fresh and sweet.
I LOVE the taste of homemade bread on a RAINY SPRINGTIME day.

Create a Rainstorm

Start by slowly rubbing the palms of your hands together and gradually getting faster. Next, snap your fingers together, gradually getting faster and faster. Now pat your thighs with one hand then the other, first slowly, then faster.  Now stomp your feet until they are stomping like crazy. The rainstorm is full-on now! I like to end by doing all of the hand motions in reverse to return the storm to a soft sprinkling of rain, and then quiet.  This is most fun with a large group, but it’s something you can do all by yourself…go ahead, try it!

It’s not quite the same group experience in a digital environment, but it is still fun!

Dance a Little Dance

In the book, Lucy’s Blooms, Lucy dances for her blooms. Set a timer for two minutes and dance a little dance of your own. If it helps to turn on some music to go along with your dancing, play the book trailer for Lucy’s Blooms with the original music composed and performed by Maiah Wynne.

Conclude

Conclude by encouraging an at-home activity such as:

  • Planting and tending to seeds and observing them as they grow into plants.
  • Counting the dandelions currently in each participant’s own yard or a nearby park.
  • More themed activity ideas for Lucy’s Blooms will be added at this link over time. Check it out!

 

Connect with the author:

.Dawn Babb Prochovnic is the author of Lucy’s Blooms, Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?, Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?, and 16 books in the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes Series, including one title that was selected as an Oregon Book Awards finalist. She is a contributing author to the award-winning book, Oregon Reads Aloud. Dawn is a vocal advocate for school and public libraries and was honored as a 2015 Oregon Library Supporter of the Year by the Oregon Library Association. She is a frequent presenter at schools, libraries and educational conferences, and the founder of SmallTalk Learning, which provides American Sign Language and early literacy education. Dawn lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a feisty dog. Learn more at www.dawnprochovnic.com.

 

5 Little Flowers: A Flannelboard Rhyme to Sign

I’ve posted before about my friend Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes series (Abdo) and many other great books for kids. (See my previous posts about Dawn’s books and storytime signing resources here!)

Well, Dawn has a new picture book coming out next week from West Margin Press: Lucy’s Blooms. I was lucky enough to get an early copy. (See my full review of the book below). I was inspired to share this storytime rhyme using ASL that would pair beautifully with the book:

5 Little Flowers: A Flannelboard Rhyme to Sign

Lucy’s Blooms by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Illustrated by Alice Brereton
West Margin Press, 4/13/21

This is a beautiful story of the nurturing power of love – Grams’ love for Lucy, and Lucy in turn pouring that love and care into her blooms. Like many children, Lucy must confront the reality that not everyone will see the magic she sees in the things she loves – some people might even dismiss them as weeds. But buoyed by the security and affection of her grandmother, Lucy knows that her blooms have something none of the prize-winning flowers can boast. Dawn Babb Prochovnic’s lyrical text skips along like Lucy’s twirling dance in the meadow, perfectly paired with Alice Brereton’s exuberant art. A celebration of connection – human to human, and human to nature – that shines with all the warmth of a sunny summer day in the garden. Click here for more info about the book!

Watch this space for more Lucy’s Blooms content! Next week, I will be hosting Dawn for a guest post with a gardening-themed signing storytime plan!

Register now for Little Hands Signing Professional Development Series: Babies and Toddlers

 

Learn engaging storytime activities for babies and toddlers that incorporate basic American Sign Language!

Tuesdays, March 30-May 4 from 3-4 PM Eastern/2-3 PM Central/1-2 PM Mountain/12-1 PM Pacific   |   Online sessions via Zoom (6 weeks, 1 hour per week)

Join us for weekly interactive workshops that teach basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities and the early childhood classroom. This series will focus on vocabulary and best practices for baby and toddler programs. Each session will focus on specific thematic vocabulary:

  • March 30: Getting Started
  • April 6: Playtime Signs
  • April 13: Mealtime Signs
  • April 20: Diaper and Potty Signs
  • April 27: Safety Signs
  • May 4: Our Signing Day

Register for Little Hands Signing Professional Development Series: Babies and Toddlers Now!


Pricing:

  • Individual: $240 (includes live webinar and recording access for the for the 6-week series)
  • Group rate (10 people): $2000 (includes live webinar and recording access for the for the 6-week series)

Certificate of completion available upon request with successful completion of post-test.


About the Instructor:

Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of the Little Hands Signing series from Familius Press, Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press) as well as many other books for children, teens, librarians, and educators. She has worked in public libraries for over twenty years, and was the Library/Media Specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Campus from 2001 to 2005. Kathy presents American Sign Language programs for families and workshops for workshops and educators. She also serves on the board of Deaf Camps, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides camps for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and children learning American Sign Language. She lives in Baltimore, MD.

 

Kirkus calls NITA’S DAY “a handy resource for hearing and Deaf families alike”

Nita’s Day, the latest book in the Little Hands Signing series, got a great review by Kirkus!

“Tabbed pages make flipping to the correct sign easy for sleep-deprived parents using the book as a reference. Short, simple, descriptive sentences put the signs in context. Brezzi’s stylized cartoons are clear and accessible, employing a wide range of patterns and unusual colors…Deaf culture, ASL, and early-childhood content were vetted by experts, making it suitable for Deaf children or families who want to incorporate sign into their daily routine. A handy resource for hearing and Deaf families alike.” – Kirkus Reviews

Check out the Little Hands Signing series homepage for video demonstrations of the signs in both books, teacher and librarian guides, and ASL storytime and classroom activities to share!

Order Nita’s Day now for holiday gift-giving! 

Autographed copies from the Deaf Camps, Inc. Online Bookstore |  Indiebound.org | Bookshop.org  |  Workman.com |  Amazon.com  |  BarnesAndNoble.com

Register now for Little Hands Signing in Storytime

Little Hands Signing in Storytime (PCI Webinar)

October 28 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm EDT

$28.99 per person

Signing with little ones of all ages promotes early literacy skills, encourages interaction, and makes your programs instantly participative.

Signing with little ones of all ages promotes early literacy skills, encourages interaction, and makes your programs instantly participative. Learn how to incorporate American Sign Language into your programs for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in a respectful and meaningful way with Kathy MacMillan, nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, author, and storyteller. You’ll leave with a toolbox of vocabulary and activities to get started with right away!

Learning Objectives:

  • List 3 benefits of signing with children
  • Demonstrate at least 6 American Sign Language signs to use with young children
  • Identify at least 1 storytime song, story, or rhyme to use with signs

Register now!

Register now for Little Hands Signing in Storytime

Little Hands Signing in Storytime (PCI Webinar)

October 28 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm EDT

$28.99 per person

Signing with little ones of all ages promotes early literacy skills, encourages interaction, and makes your programs instantly participative.

Signing with little ones of all ages promotes early literacy skills, encourages interaction, and makes your programs instantly participative. Learn how to incorporate American Sign Language into your programs for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in a respectful and meaningful way with Kathy MacMillan, nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, author, and storyteller. You’ll leave with a toolbox of vocabulary and activities to get started with right away!

Learning Objectives:

  • List 3 benefits of signing with children
  • Demonstrate at least 6 American Sign Language signs to use with young children
  • Identify at least 1 storytime song, story, or rhyme to use with signs

Register now!

Register now for Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes Series 3!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes Series 3

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teach basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities and the early childhood classroom. Each session will focus on specific thematic vocabulary:

  • Thursday, October 8, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: School and Library Signs
  • Thursday, October 15, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Playtime Signs
  • Thursday, October 22, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Safety Signs
  • Thursday, October 29, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Our Signing Day
  • Thursday, November 5, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: People Signs

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A. Presenter Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of the Little Hands Signing series from Familius Press, Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press) as well as many other resources books for librarians and educators. Certificate of completion for each webinar available upon request with successful completion of post-test.

Because each webinar series is theme-based, each series stands alone. It is not necessary to have taken Series 1 or 2 in order to get the most out of Series 3!

Individual registration: $200 for the 5-webinar series. Group rate: $1500 for 10 people for the 5-webinar series.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30. A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.
  • Individualized video feedback: $20.Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14 days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register now! Get 40% off when you register using code EARLYLITERACY (valid on group tickets too!)

Thank You Rhyme: A Rhyme to Sign

In Nita’s First Signs, Nita learns about using her manners. Here’s a fun action rhyme that reinforces the ASL sign THANK-YOU!

Thank You Rhyme: A Rhyme to Sign

This is the latest entry in my Little Hands Signing video series. See the whole series here and look for more videos to come!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Series 2 Starts July 7!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes Series 2: Seasons

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teaches basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities and the early childhood classroom. Each session will focus on specific seasonal vocabulary:

  • Tuesday, July 7, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Summer Signs
  • Tuesday, July14, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Autumn Signs
  • Tuesday, July 21, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Winter Signs
  • Tuesday, July 28, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Spring Signs
  • Tuesday, August 4, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Celebration Signs

Because each webinar is theme-based, it is not necessary to have taken Series 1 in order to get the most out of Series 2!

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A.  Webinars are presented in spoken English. To request accommodations, contact info@storiesbyhand.com.

Individual registration: $200 for the 5-webinar series. Group rate: $1500 for 10 people for the 5-webinar series.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30.  A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase. 
  • Individualized video feedback: $20.Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14  days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register now! Get 40% off when you register using code EARLYLITERACY (valid on group tickets too!)

Roll the Ball: A Song to Sign

In Nita’s First Signs, Nita loves to play with her colorful ball! Here’s a followup song to sign with young children using American Sign Language to introduce and reinforce manners signs and turn-taking.

Roll the Ball: A Song to Sign

This is the latest entry in my Little Hands Signing video series. See the whole series here and look for more videos to come!