Monday, April 18, 2011

Fiction or Non-Fiction?

While you’re choosing books and reading to your children, you can add discussions of literacy elements as extensions of your stories. 
Talk about the title, the author and the illustrator. Use those words so the child becomes familiar with them. Little eyes light up when you tell them, “A man named Eric wrote this book – for you! His whole name is Eric Carle – can you say that? He has an office where he makes pictures and writes words for children just like you to read! Writing books is called being an author.”
Don’t be afraid to introduce big words – four and five-year-olds are able to distinguish between "fiction" and "non-fiction" books and like to play the fiction/non-fiction game. At the end of a story, ask them about the characters and the setting – “Do bunnies wear clothes?” or “Do teddy bears really talk?” - to prompt discussion of real and non-real, fiction and non-fiction.  Let them figure out which category the book falls into!
Sometimes the illustration style, drawings versus photographs, etc. will give clues about the story, as well.  Discuss the choices made in illustrating the book with your child – they might want to try their own illustration! Extending the story in this way also makes it more memorableJ
Have children play with fiction to make it non-fiction and vice versa. Generating conversation with your child is great for vocabulary building, speech sounds, and verbal expression. Ask them questions like,  “What would the story be like if Corduroy couldn’t get around in the store? Would a book about real snakes be better if they lived in a house and watched TV?”
Pair up fiction and non-fiction books with similar topics and share with your child. Spring is a great time for this – there are lots of baby animal stories and books that lend themselves to spring reading! You could pair up “Hopper’s Easter Surprise” by Kathrin Siegenthaler and Marcus Pfister (dreamy illustrations by Marcus Pfister!) with a non-fiction book about bunnies, complete with real photographs. You and your child could compare all sorts of things between the two and learn lots of science information while you’re reading. Any of Eric Carle’s books about animals – “The Mixed-Up Chameleon” or “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” – would be easy to find companions for in the non-fiction section of your library.
  So, get out there and get reading!  J

No comments:

Post a Comment