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Book study – language and literacy teaching

language and literacy teachingWe are continuing to read “Literacy Beginnings” (Fountas & Pinnell) as part of the Book Study Blog Party. Chapter 5 is titled “Using a Framework for Language and Literacy Learning.

The chapter starts off talking about essential learning experiences that need to be included in a prekindergarten classroom (some activities occur daily – others over the course of a week). Activities such as circle time, outdoor play, projects (inquiry), choice time, reading and writing time are explained. But the authors then focus on those activities that promote language and literacy. We will touch on the reading activities that are talked about.

Reading Activities

The authors talk about 3 essential literacy activities: Read-Aloud and Shared Reading, Book activities and Library time. With an interactive read-aloud, teachers read books to the children and talk with them about the story. Teachers can make the story interactive by asking the children questions, talking about new vocabulary, pointing to the illustrations and encouraging discussion. Shared reading is when teachers and the children read the text together (using big books, flip chart poems or songs or writing a rhyme on the chalkboard).

Book activities are my personal favorite (usually done after one of the above reading experiences). It was great to read in this chapter how children respond to literature by participating in an activity after reading it. Here are a few fun book activities that you can try:

1. Emotion Book- During the beginning of the school year, we read “Llama llama misses mama” by Anna Dewdney (a new classic!). Children can easily relate to how Little Llama misses his mother on the first day of school. This book provides a great opportunity for conversation about feelings and emotions. In this activity, children help to make an “Emotion book” for the classroom – by either drawing different emotion faces, or having children act out the emotion and take their picture to make up a book.

2. Little Llama’s Daily Schedule – In this activity, we make a visual schedule of our daily activities and compare them to Little Llama’s school schedule. The children get excited to make the connection between their preschool experience and Little Llama’s!

3. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (and other Eric Carle) ideas – We recently participated in an Eric Carle birthday celebration – where we posted some of our favorite “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” ideas. This story is engaging on its own with its vivid illustrations – but it also lends itself to great discussions and activities about caterpillars and the butterfly life cycle.

Here is a butterfly life cycle bracelet that kids can make:

I encourage you to read the full review of this chapter by Vanessa at Pre-K Pages . Vanessa’s review also talks about some of the other topics discussed in this chapter, such as writing activities and communication with parents, so be sure to check it out!

Keep on reading! There is so much in this book!

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