Sharing literature with children at a young age is very important to their childhood development. “Sharing books with very young children not only helps them learn to listen but also to be more attentive and relate various stories to their own life” (Children’s Literature, 2009). After doing Jumpstart for a year I noticed that children would be more engage based on the strategies you used when reading with them. Something as simple as putting more excitement in your tone and changing your voice with different characters can mean a world of difference for the child. Finding out what you are doing wrong and trying to perfect your craft can make a change in a child’s engagement level when you begin to share literature with them. Being passionate and dedicated about sharing literature with a child can lead them growing up and loving reading as an adult. In this paper I will discuss the importance of finding the right book, creating a positive environment, and helping children construct meaning through narrative structure and visual literacy. It is very important to find the right book for the students in the classroom.
Making sure a teacher not only picks an age appropriate book but also a quality book to read to the students. There is a big difference in the way you have to conduct yourself when reading to toddles than kindergarten. I would also make sure to pick books that are not very popular or have various rewrites to avoid losing students interest based off the fact they’ve read it before. Everyone has read the traditional story The Three Little Pigs but there are various version and illustrations. By mixing things up you allow children to read the same book but not get bored due to finding new things each time. The first book I would use would be Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert published on April 1, 1996 for reading levels ages four to eight. This mouth-watering alphabet book shows fruits and vegetables illustrations so luscious and lively, you’ll wish they might leap off the page and into your mouth. Creating a positive environment is just as important as finding the right book.
If you find the right book but have a poor environment for reading you will lose all of the children attention. After choosing the perfect book I will read it over myself at home to work on character voices and eliminate uncertainty over any of the material in the book. I would have a family member record as read it to my own child to see if there is anything I can improve on my reading aloud skills. Also I will monitor the children in class enthusiastic level when I read to book to see what all I can do different and assess what the children may or may not like. Before reading these books I would go over the rules of story time with the children to make sure there are no interruptions or distractions. I would put the children in a half circle and put the book to the side as I begin to read. Story time would also be at the same time each day so we would remain on a schedule and get the children use to the curriculum.
Helping children construct meaning through narrative structure and visual literacy is one of the most important strategies. In helping construct a child narrative structure it is crucial to make sure children understand the links between the stories. After a few weeks of reading time the child should comprehend how the story is structured and be able to out the events of the story with the help of the teacher. Visual literacy is very interesting because it can be viewed several different ways. Each child makes look at the imagery on the page and see something different. As a teacher one must understand what the child is seeing in the illustrations and build off that to combine what is going on in the plot to help the child get a visual understanding. For a class activity to make the story we would be reading I would use the plastic fruits and vegetables in the classroom kitchen area to give the children more of visualization as I read aloud.
I would put the plastic fruits and vegetables into a bag and have each student pull one out. We would go around the classroom and the students would have to tell us what fruit or vegetable they are holding and what letter of the alphabet it starts with. Illustrations and picture books play a big role in capturing and keeping a child’s attention. It is very important when picking out a book that you pick a book with illustrations large enough for the class to see as you are reading. When you read aloud you should not only read what’s on the pages but take a moment to look at the Illustrations. It is very wise to go over in detail what is going on in the illustrations so the child gets a full comprehending of the story being portrayed in the book. I would also go over words that the children may not recognize in the book and tell the definition.
In conclusion when sharing literature with the youth it is vital you find the right book, create a positive environment, and help children construct meaning through narrative structure and visual literacy. It is important to have a quality book that relates to all students regardless of the reading level the child is on. Having a positive environment for sharing literature to take place is the difference of a child falling in love with reading and a child hating reading time. As a teacher it is your job to construct a child meaning through narrative structure and visual literacy to make sure that children understand the cause and effect along with the images in the storyline. It is crucial you have everything set up for sharing literature to make sure there will not be any preventable disruptions. As a teacher planning is very crucial, the better you plan the better of a teacher you will be when it comes to sharing literature with young children at a very significant time in their lives
Glazer, G.I. (2009). Literature for Young Children: Supporting Emergent Literacy, Ages 0-8. University of Nevada Las Vegas: Pearson. Ehlert, Lois (1996). Eating the Alphabet. Red Wagon Book.