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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bring on the Books!

I read somewhere that a preschooler spends an average of 5 seconds attending to the words during a read-aloud session.  This is why it is so important to read story books with good illustrations that relate directly to the text.  And to spend time looking at, pointing out, describing, and building language with those pictures.
Over time, we move from labeling the pictures to describing them, predicting based on them, and retelling through them.  

With preschoolers we often begin with just labels.  By kindergarten age we define those items we’ve labeled by category; i.e. a duck is a bird.  And for 1st graders we add defining by attribute; i.e. a duck is a bird that swims or a tiger is a big cat with stripes.

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One book whose illustrations mirror and amplify the text is Stone Soup.  There are multiple versions of this old favorite, but I always use the old classic by Marcia Brown.

In all of the versions I’ve seen the illustrations directly refer to the text, its by its as the stone soup is made by the soldiers and villagers.  Using the illustrations to retell the story is easy, as students follow along with the pictures.

With younger students I focus on the spatial concept vocabulary as the villagers retrieve each item to make the soup.   

I can also work on categorization of different food groups, as well as talking about what goes in soup, and what does not.

I play BINGO with the vocabulary, as well as dominoes
With slightly older students I focus on sequencing and retelling.

To get you started, here is a sheet of dominoes and 2 BINGO cards to work on the vocabulary in this classic story.

Remember to keep on talking!

felt effect graphics from Keeping Life Creative, Symbol Stix from News2You 

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