When we read aloud with children, we are nurturing a love of print. We are also having quality shared time.
Children who are read to when they are preschoolers develop an interest in becoming readers. They gain a rich language and they learn to make predictions and bring their own experiences to the reading process.
Young children who are read to develop an appreciation for the sights and sounds of stories. Book characters like The Velveteen Rabbit, The Little Prince, Winnie the Pooh and Max of Where the Wild Things Are become beloved friends.
Children who are read to develop an interest in print, identifying letters and words, and decoding words using phonetic and context clues.
Read aloud time is a precious gift for both the reader and the listener. Besides getting a child ready to read, shared reading develops the child’s creative thinking, deductive reasoning and problem solving skills. Discussion of the plot and characters helps the child learn to cope with problems and interact with others.
Post-reading activities can be powerful and enjoyable learning experiences. This week we are going to share some post-reading activities you might encourage children to try:
Encourage children to illustrate their favorite character or event from the story.
Suggest your child use modeling materials like Play Dough, Plasticene or Clay to create a favourite character.
Make a mobile of storybook characters with your child. Styrofoam rings or coat hangers make great bases.
Encourage your child to act out the story.
Work together to devise a new ending.
Take a field trip related to the story. For example, a story about a zebra might initiate a trip to the zoo.
Learn a song or finger play or poem related to the story. For example: Winnie the Pooh might be the starting point for learning the song(s) from the movie.
Watch a DVD of the book (e.g., Charlotte’s Web; Stuart Little..) Discuss similarities and differences in the plot and characters.
Together, create a balloon character from the book.
Help your child make a collage or map or shoe box diorama of the setting of the book you shared.
Reading aloud to your child creates several academic and social benefits. Adding follow-up activities can further enhance those opportunities.
In support of the Book on Every Bed program Richly Middle Class is proud to provide a book each month to the reader who best answers the question:
How am I going to use this book to nurture a love of reading in my home and/or community.
This month’s selection is a perennial favorite picture book:
Where the Wild Things Are
by author/illustrator Maurice Sendak