Another Year of Adventure and Stories at Estes Hills Elementary

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This year we tried something different in the first grades of Estes Hills Elementary.  Last year we told stories and mentioned to the children that the books could be found in the school or public library.  Circulation of those books didn’t change at all.  This year we brought in the book to share after we told the story.  We showed the cover and a few of the most important pictures from the book to draw a much tighter connection between the heard story and the book in which it could be found.  Circulation SKYROCKETED, in some cases as much as 1,800% from the prior year (we’re writing an article on this impact).  Talk about motivation to read!  Interestingly, librarians have known of – and exploited – this connection for over 100 years.  As librarian May Quigley claimed back in 1905, “The primary object of story-telling to children is to…cultivate a taste for good literature and direct them to those books which they would not otherwise read if left to themselves.”*

So, we only told stories this year that were in the school library collection, and our Scholastic Patterson Partnership grant will put another $3000 worth of easy reading folktale books into that collection for next year (see the video embedded in the March 1, 2016 post). All of these stories are appropriate for kindergarten and first-grade children.

  • Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock (Arfican)
  • Abiyoyo (African)
  • Crocodile and Hen (Africa: Bakongo)
  • It Could Always Be Worse (Jewish)
  • Stonecutter (Indonesian)
  • Anansi and Turtle (African)
  • Borreguita and the Coyote (Mexican)
  • Ox and the Frog (Greek: Aesop)
  • Badger and the Magic Fan (Japanese)
  • Origin of Shoes (Indian)
  • Anansi Goes Fishing (African)
  • The Mitten (Ukrainian)
  • Two of Everything (Chinese)
  • The Green Gourd (US: North Carolinian)
  • The Empty Pot (Chinese)
  • Rabbit and the Dried Persimmon (Korean)
  • The Name of the Tree (African)
  • Coyote’s Crying Song (Native American: Hopi)
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo (Japanese)
  • Legend of the Lady Slipper (Native American: Ojibwe)
  • Rooster and the Diamond Button (Hungarian)
  • Two Ways to Count to Ten (African: Liberian)
  • The Cat’s Purr (West Indian)
  • Anansi and the Talking Melon (African)
  • Coyote Steals the Blanket (Native American: Ute)
  • Anansi and the Box of Stories (African)
  • How Turtle’s Back Was Crackedl (Native American: Cherokee)
  • Rhinos for Lunch, Elephants for Dinner (African: Maasai)
  • How the First Rainbow Was Made (Native American: Shasta)
  • How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have (African)


*Quigley, May G. “Telling Stories to Children.” Public Libraries July 1905: 351-53.