Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Il était une fois--ce vendredi après-midi, en fait!

"Il était une fois" is the name of the new story hour that a French maman and I are premiering this week at the Lafayette Public Library! You heard me bemoan the uninspiring, uninteractive storytime we attended last month at another library, the one that turned out to be inspirational in that another mom and I decided that we could do a better storytime than that one (read all about it here).

So here's how it will work:

It will take place every other Friday afternoon at 4:00 (until the holidays, at which point we'll make a decision if it's worth continuing next year and beyond), beginning this coming Friday (October 15). We are planning 20-25 minutes of material per session.

Delphine and I will lead the first one and ask for parent volunteers for future sessions. (But we're also prepared to do the first few ourselves.)

We have set up a format that we'll ask all volunteers to follow:
  • Opening song ("Dans la forêt lointaine, " since it repeats the word "coucou," which also means "hi!")

  • Books, songs, rhymes, and fingerplays all on one theme decided in advance (this week: forests and autumn)

  • A game or dance

  • Closing song ("Ainsi font, font, font les petites marionnettes," as it includes the line "et puis s'en vont"--then they go away)

Everyone is welcome! We'll also have handouts with the lyrics so families can practice at home if they don't know the songs and rhymes already. I'm soooo excited to have something in French right here where I live, and of course I'm also nervous about singing in public and presenting stories in French in front of native speakers. But it's a good nervous.

I'll let you know how it goes!

English translation of title: Once upon a time--this Friday afternoon, in fact!


  1. I think this is a great idea! I attended a spanish bilingual reading time at our library and it was sooo boring just like yours. Plus it was far from my house. I got the name of the head person at my closer library because I thought "I could do better than that." But I never followed through. You have inspired me to try again. I can't wait to see how it goes!

  2. Great! Good luck!
    I had a bilingual playgroup for about a year but unfortunately all of the participants (parents AND kids) were monolingual and it was very difficult to keep the second language in use. We're going to try again with bilingual kids and I think it will be much more rewarding.
    Sarah, you commented on my blog...a while ago...and I wanted to comment back. I love your blog and need to make the time to read it, and so many others...
    Also it's somehow cool that you're in Lafayette - I studied in Boulder until 2000, so it's practically my neighborhood!

  3. Sounds like a great format. How many people showed up? And how did it go?

  4. I so appreciate the support of my online friends and colleagues! Thanks everyone.

    @Medinas--Yes, please, do try to start your own storytime now so that we can compare notes! Sounds like it would be welcome.

    @RC--Hmmm, a "bilingual" playgroup with only monolinguals sounds entirely frustrating. I hope your efforts to start a new one pan out. Maybe you could do a storytime instead? Let me know!

    From Boulder to Germany via a French husband....that's quite a journey!

    If you'd ever be interested in having me profile your family on this blog, please let me know! Sounds like you'd have a lot to share.

    (That offer goes out to any readers using 2+ languages with their families, by the way! Just email me for the questionnaire.)

    @Natalia--It went pretty well, actually! I'll do a post about it soon. But here's a preview: 27 (!) people came.