3V1186.01 Learning by observation during Story hour (4/22/81)

Today was the last in a series of story hours for Three Year Olds given weekly at the local library. The Childrens’ Librarian would take a group of children (maybe 10 to 12) into a meeting room where they might sing a little song or play a simple finger game. She would then read them a story. Afterwards there would be a short film shown in the childrens’ room. Several groups met at the same time, and there were always hordes of children, mothers, and babies milling around. As described earlier (2/15/81) Peggy at first stayed apart, but as the weeks wore on she gradually moved in closer and joined the circle to some extent.

About two months into the session, I heard her singing at home “E-I-O, E-I-O…” When I asked her about it, she told me she learned it at story hour. “Oh, you were singing songs?” [I don’t think I had realized this before.] Peggy set me straight. “Well, the lady was singing. I didn’t sing.” Later, I also heard snatches of “Shoofly”. Peggy apparently enjoyed these tunes. although she never “threw herself into” the entertainment. One film, for example, was Disney’s Three Little Pigs, and most children were screaming and laughing as the Wolf tried to catch the pigs and got thoroughly beat up in the process. Peggy sat there with the same quiet attention she gave most of the films. At the last session, Peggy was somewhat disconcerted to discover that the librarian was not there that day and that another woman was there taking her place to read. Her first reaction was to ask me to come in with her. I walked as far as the door of the reading room, and Peggy continued in with no problem. she did not seem upset on being told that story hour was over for now, and there wouldn’t be any more for a while [end of June]. Access to the books in the library is far more important.

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