Friday, November 4, 2011

On Flannel Boards, Plus: "The Witch's Hat"

Some weeks ago, soon after I'd discovered the Flannel Friday folk and the Pinterest boards I wrote a post entitled "Flannel Board Free". My discussion there was really of the flannel board versus the magnet board, though I did mention that I've used them less and less.

But in thinking about the "when to flannelize?" question posed on this blog  I find myself instead wanting to talk about when NOT to flannelize.
I know this may not win me friends among the flannelers, but I am going to be the crank that I am :D and say that most of the time I don't think flannels SHOULD be used.

I admire the gorgeous flannel work I see on the blogs and the Pinterest boards. The detail, the workmanship, a lot of caring goes into them. But too many of them are for stories that have great illustrations and work just fine in the original version

And I think, in these days of the e-book, the DVD player in the car and all the rest, that librarians need more than ever to show the power of the book. To share it with our users to encourage them to do the same thing at home that we do at the library--read with the kids.

So when IS a flannel/magnet board useful?

1)For rhymes, songs and other storytime happenings that don't have a book to go with them. The sort of counting rhyme where you count down by taking away one item at a time--like "5 Little Pumpkins" or "Ten in the Bed" are great for this. The concrete objects can help you lead the song--but you also need to be pointing out to the kids that they have 5--or 10 fingers, depending on the rhyme and that they can count down with you, and there are other parts of the song/rhyme they can help with as well.

2)For books where the text is too small to work with a group, or where there's a great story, but the pictures are either too detailed or too scratchy to work with a group.

3) For any other book when you have a good answer to the key question: "What can I do by using a flannel board that I can't do by using the book?"

And if there's no real answer, probably you shouldn't be making a flannel board.

Here's the sort of book that IS ideal for the flannel board--though I like best to use the board in a combo with some props for this story. Too late for this Halloween, but something you could try next year!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful post and wonderful version of this book, I just discovered via Angela Reynolds (Valley Storytime). I have pinned it to my Halloween Storytime board. Happy Halloween :)


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