Transforming Preschool Storytime

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Summary and Goals:

A brief explanation of child development theories, domains of school readiness, multiple intelligences and 21st century skills is followed by an overview of traditional library storytime. The important role repetition plays in learning leads to a demonstration of a chosen book being read aloud. Samples of creative ways this book can then be repeated in preschool storytime for six weeks in a row, designed to help children build and strengthen various early literacy skills, are presented. Participants break into groups, choose a book, and design a minimum of six ways to use their book in preschool storytime while specifying the early literacy skill(s) each activity targets. Groups present selected activities and join in a unique closing activity.

This workshop enables participants to:

  • Transform children from passive listeners to active participants by using a single book in consecutive storytimes, employing repetition with variety.
  • Explore ways to use a chosen book in subsequent programs while continuing to present captivating and enriching storytimes. 
  • Engage children with different learning styles by incorporating recent theories on how children’s brains work.
  • Use storytime as a platform to help children learn through play, strengthen early literacy, and develop essential life skills.
  • Design book-related activities that reinforce 21st century skills.
  • Use transformed storytimes to educate and involve parents and caregivers 
  • Connect and engage children with stories on multiple levels.
  • Experience the benefits of a transformed storytime!


Participants will:

  • Have a basic understanding of the different ways children learn, theories of child development, and assessment strategies.
  • Experience ways in which books can be repeated differently in storytimes that promote early literacy skills
  • Learn to implement “repetition with variation” and be able to create their own high-quality programs using the programming worksheet.
  • Be able to incorporate developmental tips to parents and caregivers during programs.
  • Receive the resources necessary to help them create and implement transformed preschool storytimes
  • Understand ways in which the program can be individualized to reflect their particular interests and talents.

Workshop Implementation:

  1. Video screening and discussion on current research with implications for optimal learning in the preschool years.
  2. Lecture with a quick review of the standard preschool storytime format. 
  3. Participation in a “transformed preschool storytime” where one book is presented in numerous ways for several weeks in a row.
  4. Group work: choosing a book and finding multiple ways to present it that help children develop a variety of skills. 
  5. Using the hand-out to remember the different ways children learn and the types of skills that they will need in order to be successful in school and in life. 
  6. Group presentations – participants will practice what they have learned by presenting one activity and explaining the skills it helps children develop and strengthen.
  7. Discussion of ways to adapt this model to specific settings and audiences.

Betsy will also hold a workshop Play Your Way to Literacy in Wellington on 30 October. There is a discount price for attending the Wellington and the Christchurch workshops.


Dr Betsy Diaman-Cohen is the creator of the Mother Goose on the Loose early literacy programme. She is known throughout the USA for her charismatic and inspiring presentations. Based on her experiences working as a children’s librarian in public libraries and children’s museums for more than 25 years, she believes that the best way to learn is through play. She is recognized as a prolific author, inspiring mentor and presenter, knowledgeable consultant and teacher. Betsy has worked with hundreds of librarians and teachers to help them to create programmes that reflect their interests and personalities, strengthen connections between parents and their children, allow them to be facilitators rather than performers and educates about child development and best practices for literacy. In 2013, Betsy was the recipient of an award from a division of the American Library Association, the ASCLA’s Leadership and Professional Achievement Award which stated that Mother Goose on the Loose “has revolutionized the way story times are presented to young children at libraries and has empowered librarians to work confidently with this young population of readers.” In 2018, she was selected as the winner of the 2018 Alexandre Vattermare Award for Creativity in Libraries. Betsy is a regular presenter at the American Library Association Conferences.

Terms and conditions:

We understand that circumstances can change therefore substitutions can be sent at no additional cost. Please notify these where possible at least 48 hours prior to the seminar start.

If this is not an option then the following refunds or fees apply:

Business days before start of course 

Refund (% of course fee) 

More than 21 days


21-8 days


Less than 8 days

No refund

Further details: 
If you would like more information about this seminar, or if you cannot pay by credit card online and require an invoice - please contact us on: 
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email: