Home/School Connection – Making the Most of Reading Experiences with Your Children
Young Preschoolers (3 to 4 years olds):
Select some non-fiction information books with “real” pictures (photographs rather than illustrations). Books about butterflies, sharks, dolphins, and horseshow crabs delight children, especially after visiting the seashore, zoo, or aquarium. Books about parts of the country, work machines, buildings, and trains teach children about a sense of community, how things are built, and how people travel.
Take pictures of places you visit and write your own book, capturing your child’s special experiences in captions related to the pictures. Books including 1,2,3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle, or Look Alike Animals by Robin Pernard enhance children’s experiences.
Avoid too many TV or movie related fantasy stories to help children separate fantasy from reality. Visit the library and help children choose a variety of books to enhance their interest in a topic of their choosing. A child interested in a movie about mermaids will stretch that interest to include tropic fish with your help.
Preschoolers (4 to 6 year olds):
Introduce your child to wordless books and encourage him to tell you a story. Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola is a wonderful way to get started. The pictures are vivid and interesting and will guide your child in telling a story that’s a beginning, middle, and end. The Red Book by Barbara Lehman, with its contrasting colors and clear structure will absolutely delight children and give them practice in telling and retelling stories. Help children find authors that they like.
Choose a picture from a magazine and ask your child to tell you a story about the picture; write out your child’s words and keep this on the bookshelf. Read it as you would any other book. Choose pictures of something going on in the child’s life; a new baby, a school bus, a beach, a sad face, etc. Or ask your child to draw a picture and write the words they tell you about the picture; use topics like “Going to Work with Mommy”.
Some information taken from Scholastic Early Childhood Today Jan. Feb. 2007
Compiled by Linda N. Stuhlman