- Teach Through Books and Conversation
- Create Opportunities to Build on Reading
- Integrate Reading and Writing Throughout the Day
- Try It
- Wrap Up
- active reading: strategies readers need to help them understand the text and remain engaged
- environmental print: print found in the everyday world, such as store and traffic signs, logos, menus, calendars, price tags, and so on
- print awareness: the understanding that print is organized in a particular way (e.g., it is made up of letters, words, and spaces between words; it is read from left to right, and top to bottom; it carries a message)
Create Opportunities to Build on Reading
Before watching this video, read the text below. When instructed, watch the video from the beginning to end.
When children use the knowledge they have gained from reading or talking with others, they are more likely to understand and remember what they have learned. You can create opportunities across the curriculum for children to apply and build on what they’ve learned from books and conversations.
- Select books with intention. Choose books that reinforce key ideas in the curriculum, deepen children’s understandings, or act as a springboard for curriculum-related activities throughout the day.
- Utilize learning centers to extend and broaden the book experience. Give children hands-on experiences and reinforce what they have learned through reading. For example, a book about seeds can be followed by a planting activity or an Art Center activity in which children draw representations of seeds or make seed art; a book about a famous artist or musician could be followed by an activity in which children listen to music.
- Use writing to support reading. When children write about (or dictate) what they’ve read, they make a personal connection to the content. For example, ask children to write about or draw a favorite book character, or to write about what happens next in the story.
- Ask children to make reading choices. When children make choices during reading, their decision-making abilities are reinforced. Ask children to choose the book they would like to read later that day. While reading a book about the desert, ask children whether they would like to live near the desert or the seashore and have them explain their answer.
In this video, you’ll see educators tie books to their weekly learning themes in different ways. As you watch, look for effective strategies used by the educators in the video and jot down answers to these viewing questions in your Learning Log.
- How do the educators carry the theme of a book across the curriculum?
- How is writing is used to support reading?
How can you create opportunities for children to use the knowledge they have learned from reading?
- Share books that reinforce key ideas in the curriculum, deepen children’s knowledge and understanding, or can be a springboard for curriculum-related activities throughout the day.
- Use learning centers to extend and broaden the book experience. Offer activities across the curriculum that connect to themes in the book to give children hands-on experiences and reinforce what they have just learned through reading. For example, a book about water can be followed by ice painting, water table activities, or outdoor exploration of puddles or snow. A book about seeds can be followed by a planting activity.
- Create centers that reinforce vocabulary and concepts in books. Use labels, signs, and other environmental print.
- Have children write about what they have read. Writing reinforces reading. It encourages the reader to think about and react to the subject. Writing in response to reading can expand a child’s understanding of the themes and ideas in the book.
- Offer decision-making opportunities after reading a book that further connects the reader with the subject. By deciding, for example, that they like snowy days better than rainy days, children place themselves in the experience.
How can you use writing to support reading?
- Include writing in all areas of the learning environment. For example, children can make lists, wear name tags, write weather reports, compose notes to classmates, record things they see on a walk or field trip, describe a favorite activity, or write thank-you notes.
- Use activities to make vital connections between reading and writing. For example, children can:
- Trace letters using sensory materials such as sandpaper, shaving cream, or finger paint.
- Use a variety of media for writing, such as dry-erase boards, chalkboards, paints, magnetic boards, alphabet letters, crayons, or blank books.
- Draw pictures or create artwork to respond to a story.
- Use computer programs and age-appropriate software to help them write or draw stories of their own.
- Record stories or words to be read aloud to the group.
- Group-write a new ending to a familiar story.