What Does the Fox Say?

Five little fox

Phyllis Bontrager knows what the fox says

Note from Cen: We all know that using animal sounds with young children is a good way to have fun (print motivation!), develop phonological awareness and beef up the young child’s embouchre in preparation for saying really big words like “embouchre.” As such, I’ve used the What Does the Fox Say video a couple of times in my workshops (often right after lunch when people get sleepy) to perk everyone up. I’ve now heard from a few different storytellers that they’re using the video IN their storytimes, and doing some pretty creative things with it! Here’s an example from Phyllis Bontrager, who came to my New Media in Storytime workshop in Maryland earlier this fall.

Phyllis’ Fox Storytime


What does the fox say? Does anyone really know? Well according to the song and YouTube video, the fox makes many different sounds. I thought, “Why don’t I use this crazy song as my theme for pre-school story time?” So I collected fiction and nonfiction non-fiction books about foxes and began a journey on answering the ever-present question, “What does the fox say?” I began my storytime with facts about foxes with the book Foxes by Mary Ann McDonald. Did you know that the mother fox coughs when there is danger around? Now you do, but what does the fox really say?

Watch the video Fox Say! by Phyllis Bontrager (above), and you will find out. To create the video I used iMovie, images from Google, and I also embedded a fox sound into this movie to answer the question. The children and parents danced, laughed and waited quietly to really hear the sound of a fox. What an easy way to share a real environmental sound. I also included a rhyme I made up about five little foxes that went out to play. In this song I used felt board to create the scene and then placed felt board images into Keynote to show them as we sang.

Following the felt board rhyme I read the wonderful Dr. Seuss eBook Fox in Socks. It is longer, and your mouth might feel like it went through a blender when you are done reading it, but it was a great book to add to the storytime. Two other books that I used for successful engagement with the children are Mo Willems’ That is NOT a Good Idea! and My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza. I love being creative and quirky as you can see, but using this media in my story time adds an element that allows children to visually see, hear and experience things I never thought possible. I hope this helps you know what the fox really says!

Phyllis Bontrager
Baltimore County Library

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Posted on November 19, 2013, in Literacy. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Phyllis is awesome and comes up with the coolest ideas! I loved the fox theme when she showed it to us prior to presenting it to her story time children. I am super excited about the many creative ways people are bringing media into story times!!

  2. Agreed! Phyllis rocks the fox.

  3. That is just awesome! Best term paper break ever 🙂

  4. Phyllis, that video is great! I’ve been trying to think of ways to include this song in my storytime without creeping out the kids and parents with the original video. Do you mind if other people us it?

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