Print Motivation includes being interested in and enjoying books. Here are some ideas for promoting this skill in your storytimes:
- Welcome the children (preferably by name) and express your pleasure in having them visit the library and storytime.
- Love the book you’re sharing!
- Hold the book so all can see; no sweeping from side to side.
- Select books that are appropriate for the age and interests of the children.
- Choose books with especially large, bright and well-defined illustrations that are great for large group sharing.
- Read with enthusiasm. Be aware of emotions, pacing, character voices (if there aren’t too many),and volume. Can you build suspense? Draw them in with a great reading so they will want more! You’re modeling all the time for parents and caregivers.
- If there are wonderful illustrations, take the time to enjoy them.
- Be true to the author’s intent and read the story without interruptions (unless you are demonstrating the dialogic method).
- Periodically make eye contact with the children so they feel like they’re a part of the sharing.
- Share “specialty” books: pop-ups, pull-the-tabs, lift-the-flaps, big books or novelty books.
- Invite the children to participate (if the story is suitable) by repeating phrases, making sound effects, or showing the emotions.
- Repeat “favorites” at different storytimes when they fit with multiple storytime themes: example: Hi, Harry! by Martin Waddell could be used for both friendship or turtle storytimes.
- Just for fun and variety, do a “paired” reading with a partner. Books especially good for this are Beach Day by Patricia Lakin and Jez Alborough’s Where’s My Teddy? The children will see that you’re having fun with a friend by reading together.
- Make the entire storytime experience lots of fun with lots of variety. Your storytime is a commercial for the library and books!
- If a book isn't working—stop reading! Tell the kids you'll finish it another time, and say it's time for the Hokey Pokey or the Tooty Ta, or just go on to your next activity.
- If the children were especially engaged with the reading and truly loved the book, take the time to cheer and clap for the book and author. “Aren’t you glad that someone wrote this wonderful book?”
More Print Motivation ideas:
Print Motivation tips on Saroj Ghoting's Storytime Share blog
Print Motivation tips on Mount Prospect (IL) Public Library's Notes from Storytime blog