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Rap & Rhyme (Dino) Storytime

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

For this storytime, we learned all about how poetry can be found in rap music. This can work with big kids or little ones. Today was odd because after having over 40 pre-schoolers last week, we ended up with three big kids (9 & 10). So, I will include ways to adjust the difficulty to fit young or old kids.

Also, we are continuing to incorporate Spanish into our storytimes, as I am helping train my assistant to teach ESL classes. For this round, we focused on the colors red, yellow, blue, and green.

Book 1: Dinosaur Rap by John Foster

This is a cute book with that comes with an awkward song (CD included, but we used the video). Still, we had a good time dancing to it and stomping around like dinosaurs. I thought the older kids would think it was lame, but they played along! The facts section in the back of the book is actually really interesting (and I learned quite a lot!) Also, having my stuffed dinosaurs helped with the visuals a bit.

Little Tots: Read through and show them the movements as you go, then do the dance. After, read just the dinosaur facts.

Big Kids: Follow the same routine, except add on the sections about the time periods & archeology. If you have a ton of time, it would be so fun to bury some fake bones behind the library and have them do a dig!

Here is the video & song:

Spanish Song 1: "Los Colores" (Are You Sleeping?)

This simple song is to the familiar tune of "Are You Sleeping, Brother John?" We played the song and pointed at the different colors on our poster. We did only the first four (ending at green). We then went through each of the kids and had them practice pronouncing each color, then we sang the song together.

They had a little trouble with amarillo, because it looks like armadillo! This was funny! :)

Spanish Song 2: "¿De qué color es?"

I do not have the words to adequately express how much I love this song by Señor Jordan. I have been singing it for almost a week now. The melody is pleasant and it is a simple song to test the kid's knowledge of the colors. Again, we did just the first four colors, which happened to line-up with the last song.

We let the kids watch the video while we sang along, then we had them answer "¿De qué color eres?" They got all of them right without needing the poster!

Little Tots: Before playing the song, explain to them that it is in Spanish, but the man is simply asking the animals what color they are, then the animals will respond. Show them the video, pause, then hold up the poster again. If needed, say the color slowly with them.

Big Kids: Before playing, go over what each lyric means. You can even sing a verse in English and Spanish to show how it translates. Have them guess without the poster. Instead of pausing, challenge them to shout out the answer before the song gives it away. You can also require them to say "soy" (I am) before answering, as that's a simple yet important word to learn (and they may already know it from Dora). Also let them know that they will have to match the Spanish names to the animals for the worksheet later on.

Example Spanish Verse: English Translation:

Hay un delfín, There is a dolphin.

¿De qué color es? What color is it?

Es buena pregunta. It is a good question.

Delfín, ¿De qué color eres? Dolphin, what color are you?

Delfín: Soy azul! Dolphin: I am blue!

Someday, I'd love to do this without the video. The chords sound simple and if you have all the stuffed animals or puppets you need, you can make this really interactive! Have one person play the guitar or ukulele and sing, then the other person has the animal walk by, make noise, and answer what their color is.

If the kids learn this song, you can also sing it with all kinds of different animals! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!

Book 2: Rappy Goes to the Supermarket by Dan Gutman

This is a series of easy readers, though I know there is also a storybook version of at least the first one, Rappy the Raptor. I ended up with this version because we already had it in our library, but I would recommend reading the first one to introduce the character. There is also a Rappy Goes to the Library may be even more suited for your needs.

Big Kids Extension Activity: Challenge them to rap a couple of pages. Page 15 (pictured above) is especially fun. They couldn't believe how fast I could read it (they thought that I must have been practicing before.)

Rhyme Matching Game: Green and Blue

This is an activity I do regularly during storytimes to teach kids to recognize rhymes. I have a big set of these cards that I made using Martin clipart, but I plan on making a set with my own illustrations at some point so I can share them on TPT.

Little Tots: Have one person hold up the green card and another hold up blue. Mix the rest of the cards then pull out one at a time, reading it aloud then having the kids repeat. Then, have them identify whether it rhymes with green or blue.

Big Kids: Show them either the green or blue card, then tell them that you have four words that rhyme that they have to guess. Once they guess all of the cards, go to the other set.

Book 3: Hip Hop Speaks to Children

This book is an interesting collection of classic poems and hit songs that demonstrates how rap and poetry are one in the same (as you often can't tell whether you are reading a work by a poet or a rapper). There are lots to choose from, some short and some long, so you can choose a few to fit your age group. It comes with a CD as well, but we don't have a CD player. :/ One of my favorites was "The Rosa Parks", because I got to talk to my big kids a bit about who she was and what impact she had.

Big Kids Extension Activity: If you have a small group, have them flip through the pages and choose one they like to read to the group.

"¿De qué color es?" Coloring & Review Sheet

I created these because I didn't know how many kids we'd have and there is no way I could do the planned craft with 40+ kids. We ended up doing both though! The one on the left is the answer key for the big kids sheet, where they color and use the word bank to fill out the names and colors in Spanish. The right one is for preschoolers. It comes with the English and Spanish filled in, so they just have to color.

You can get these worksheets for free at my TPT store.

Craft: Make a Microphone!


- Toilet paper roll

- Wadded paper, a bouncy ball, or a foam ball

- Aluminum foil

- Markers, paints, jewels, etc. to decorate


- Decorate the toilet paper roll. This will be the base of the microphone.

- Grab a round base like a bouncy ball or wad some paper into a ball the size of the opening of the toilet paper roll.

- Wrap a sheet of aluminum foil around the ball.

- Nest the aluminum ball into the toilet paper roll. It should be tight enough to stay in place.

- Sing or rap your heart out!


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