N is for Nocturnal (and Night): Storytime Plan

Opening Song: "If You're Happy and You Know It" [standing up] with whispered added verse "If it's storytime and you know it, say Shhhh..."

Clap out sylllables and say "nocturnal" together. Explain meaning of "nocturnal" ["most active at night"] and suggest it can be remembered by knowing that "night" has the same "n" sound at the beginning. "Are we nocturnal? No. There's a word for what we are, too: diurnal." Show images of several animals [raccoon--mostly nocturnal; elephant--diurnal; deer--diurnal; cat--mostly nocturnal!--firefly--nocturnal];  and ask kids whether they think they're nocturnal or diurnal. 

Book: Little Wolf's First Howling by Kvasnosky and McGee [Have group be father wolf--"Aaaa-roooo!" and join in scat-singing at the end]


Book: The Great Aaa-ooo! by Jonny Lambert

Action Rhyme: "Two Little Hoot Owls" (or Porcupettes, grass/far from the crowd)

Two little hoot owls
sitting on a cloud--
one named Quiet,
the other named Loud.
Fly away, Quiet!
Fly away, Loud!
Come back, Quiet!
Come back, Loud!

Two little hoot owls 
sitting in the snow--
one named Fast, 
the other named Slow...

Song: Dance, Freeze, Melt” by The Learning Groove from Rockin’ Red

BookA Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na


Book: Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton

Song with Shakers: "Wake Up!"
[Song by Kendra at READ SING PLAY. Have kids pet eggs during the quiet verses, then throw them up in the air/wave them around during the loud verses. Vocabulary: "Names for baby nocturnal animals may be less familiar, so we'll use those and learn some new things. Does anyone know what a baby bat is called?" [a pup] ]

Owlet's sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Owlet's sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Owlet's sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Now we’re very quiet. Shhhhh...
WAKE UP owlet, it’s time to play!
WAKE UP owlet, it’s time to play!
WAKE UP owlet, it’s time to play!
Now we’re very LOUD!
Pup [baby bat] is sleeping....
Joey's [baby possum]
Porcupette's [baby porcupine!]
Kit [skunk] (end with skunk spraying)

Action Song with Scarves: "Bat/Owl Freeze Game" [modified from Jim Gill's "Silly Dance Contest" by Scott at  SLC Book Boy--who has since moved to WallsBecametheWorld.com--or play Hap Palmer's recorded song "Freeze Dance" with scarves instead]

Scott writes: "I made a 2-sided sun/moon visual and explained to the kids that we were going to be [bats. That means if the sun is out we have to be asleep! Then I'd flip it around to the moon for us to be [bats] flapping our wings. I used a freeze game format" 

Fly as high as you want to; fly as high as you please [encourage tiptoes]
Fly as high as you want to, but stop when I say SLEEP! [2x]

Fly as low as you want to; fly as low as you please 
Fly as low as you want to, but stop when I say SLEEP! [1 time]

Fly as slow as you want to; fly as slow as you please [1 time]

Fly as high as you want to [1 time]

Book [if time--selections]: Daylight Starlight Wildlife by Wendell Minor

Closing Song: Laurie Berkner's "These Are My Glasses" a cappella. "Today, everything we find in our book will begin with "N". Possibles before opening to kids for suggestions: necklace [Ooh, it's a beautiful necklace! Let's take it out and put it on]; nose [Ooh, it's a NOSE, a great big giant nose that's about to sneeze right on us! Ahhh-choo! Close the book! We don't want to spread any germs].


Alternate book: Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise; Night Animals

Action Song[seated, calmer] "The Animals in in the Night"
The owls in the night go whoo, whoo, whoo (etc)
all night long.
The fireflies in the night go blink, blink, blink... [splay and close fingers on each hand]
The bears in the night go grr grr grr
The wolves in the night go [HOWL]
The people in the night go snore, snore, snore [rest head on hands as if sleeping]
all night long.