Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Get Into Books!

Reading stories together is a wonderful way to spend time with your child – stories open up doors into new worlds, increase vocabulary and reading together is a great sharing time. So, take it a step further! Young children can learn many things from exploring authors more in-depth - and, teachers and parents can pick up a thing or two as well! Besides reading just for enjoyment, which is wonderful, there are many components of early literacy to explore, such as rhyming words, repeating lines and parts of a story. There are also varied methods of illustration to discover.

Here's the plan: Pick out a favorite author to explore - one that your child is already familiar with would work well - and assemble a group of books from the public library, your own library, or borrow from friends.

Over the course of a few days, take a "picture walk" through each book, browse the books (thumb through without too many details), and read each book more than once. Give your child the job of "noticing." "Noticing" will get them involved in the book (book “detectives”) and encourage them to look for rhymes, characters, illustration techniques, and repeating sounds or words. “I heard something that rhymes with “blue” – did you hear it?” or “I keep hearing the same word in this story … what do think it is?”

Ask your child to find the name of the main character, which will be repeated in the book, and see what letters are in the character’s name. Notice what things are the same about the author’s books – and what are different! “Eric Carle seems to have a lot of animals in his books – let’s check them all and see!” or “’The Cat in The Hat’ has a lot of rhyming words – let’s see if the other Dr. Seuss books do, too!”

Look for similarities in the illustrations that carry over from book to book with different authors and illustrators. Dr. Seuss books have a very particular style of illustration and are fun to look at! Eric Carle books have a paper collage style that is easily identified, while Margaret Wise Brown’s books, “Goodnight Moon” and “The Runaway Bunny” have some shared illustration that good noticing will pick up!

Check out author websites and look for extension activities – there are often coloring sheets, puppet outlines, project ideas, etc. on these sites! I have links to a few at the bottom of my blog page. Extend the book with conversation as well – discuss your favorite part of the story or your favorite character, modeling for your child a deeper interest in what is going on between the covers of the book. Open up the world of reading – and writing – for them, by asking what they would change or do next in the book! Spend time … and have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment