Saturday, March 17, 2012

Take a Picture Walk

I recently attended an Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) Webinar. Developed by the Association of Library Service to Children and Public Library Association, the goal of ECRR is to support parents and caregivers as they help their children (birth to age 5) build early literacy skills--getting them ready to read! There are five early literacy practices that parents and caregivers can engage in with their children: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. Over the next several weeks, I'll be blogging about easy, fun ways you can enhance these practices in your child's daily life.

As we know, talking with children--including infants--is a key source of language development. A great way to extend the conversations you have with your child is by taking a picture walk! Choose a book with illustrations that you like, but instead of reading the book, simply talk about the pictures. Ask your child about what he or she sees on the cover, talk about the characters, and have your child predict what might happen next. You could even use a wordless picture book which is designed for just this sort of imaginative storytelling. Try Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage, The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, or recent Caldecott Medal winner A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka. Another idea--especially for children who are not yet talking--is to narrate your daily activities with them. For example: "I'm making your lunch right now. This is your applesauce. Mmm! It tastes sweet. You like applesauce, don't you?" Narrating activities is a great way to introduce your child to new vocabulary words.

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