Yep, I went ahead and tried a pretty difficult topic this week — opposites! But were my kids up for the challenge? Read on…

I started off storytime with defining opposites as two things that are exactly different from one another. I used the example of “big” and “little,” having the kids reach really far to the sides for big and very close together for little. We did this several times throughout storytime. Our first book was “Octopus Opposites” by Stella Blackstone and Stephanie Bauer.

I use a LOT of Blackstone’s titles in my storytimes. The simplicity of this book is that it uses animals to explain opposites in a bright colorful way. We did have a bit more fun identifying animals than opposites…but this was an excellent way to start off storytime. Next, I read “Big, Bigger, Biggest” by Nancy Coffelt.

It was my goal to get them to understand the difference between big and little by the end of the program, so this book was a great choice. I’m not sure how well the kids comprehended a lot of the larger words, but they did get big, bigger, biggest! I think the next time I use this book in storytime for my little guys, I might skip the bigger words.

I found this great action rhyme on Mel’s Desk and the kids LOVED it. We did it three times in a row!

Action Rhyme: “This Is Big”
This is big, big, big (stretch hands far to sides)
This is small, small, small (cup hands together)
This is short, short, short (hold palms close vertically)
This is tall, tall, tall (hold palms far apart vertically)
This is fast, fast, fast (roll hands quickly)
This is slow, slow, slow (roll hands slowly)
This is yes, yes, yes (nod head)
This is no, no, no (shake head)

And then a “little” to go with our “big!”

Fingerplay: “Little Turtle”
There was a little turtle (put hands on top of one another)
He lived in a box (make box)
He swam in a puddle (swimming motion)
He climbed on the rocks (climbing motion)
He snapped at a mosquito (clap)
He snapped at a flea (clap)
He snapped at a minnow (clap)
And he snapped at me (clap)
He caught the mosquito (cup hands together)
He caught the flea (cup hands together)
He caught the minnow (cup hands together)
But he didn’t catch me! (shake finger “no”)

Next, I read a very short book: “A Garden of Opposites” by Nancy Davis.

This book is a great lapsit to read, particularly at the end where there is an opportunity to review the opposite pairs that readers have learned. It worked well in storytime though because it’s eye-catching and quick! And I definitely had wigglers this week, so I switched it up with the flannelboard next.

Flannelboard: “Big, Bigger, Biggest”
A little ball, a bigger ball, and a great big ball I see
Now help me count them, one, two, three!
Credit: Debmonn PB Wiki

I just made three simple balls — a tennis ball, a beach ball, and a soccer ball out of felt and put them up. We also did this rhyme a couple of times, to the delight of the kids. Next, we practiced our “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” — which I am pleased to report that most of my kids have down now. They aren’t singing with me yet, but we’ve got the motions down pat.

The last book for this week was “Where is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox.

This was a HUGE success. This book is so engaging and clearly shows opposites in the different sheep. And while I know the kids were hearing the opposites, they were also looking for green sheep. Luckily, they found green sheep at the end of the book, fast asleep.

I ended storytime by using egg shakers and doing “Opposites Hokey Pokey” with the kids. (You shake your egg up/down; left/right; etc.)

Our craft: Opposite Books!

I got the idea for this craft from Bright Hub and I got to work immediately making a template. My teen volunteers cut out words, pictures, the book, and assembled the whole project. All my storytime kids did was color the pictures in!

8 comments on “Opposites!

  1. Sarah H.
    October 27, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Great theme and cute craft! Good call on the spanish!

  2. Stephanie M.
    October 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    I just did a story time on opposites yesterday. Thanks for some of the tips. I read Lion & Mouse and used flannel figures to illustrate the story. Instead of a craft I used a Bingo game from toosforeducators.com. I thought this would be a difficult concept but the kids really loved it. I also read Paddington’s Opposites as my last book and had the kids shout out the opposite words. Lots of fun!

    • Katie
      October 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      I’m glad you had a good opposites storytime — this still remains one of my favorite themes!


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