Swim, Little Wombat, Swim by Charles Fuge

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: Today we are going to be reading stories about Australia. We're going to be hearing about a lot of new animals and learning a lot of new words. Those new words PLUS all the words you already know are vocabulary. If children have a good vocabulary, know a lot of words, which they learn from you and from books, it will be a lot easier for them to understand what they are reding when they learn to read. It starts NOW! That's why today, as we read about all these new animals, we're going to be learning about vocabulary, too.As you read Swim, Little Wombat, Swim use the pictures to explain unfamiliar words. The furry little wombat is something like a pig with a grumpy nature and an awful urge to dig, complete with claws made mighty and strong for moving tons of dirt along . . . Early Literacy Aside--Example: This story had a lot of words you might never use in everyday conversation. By using the words in the story and not replacing them with more familiar words, your child's vocabulary will grow. Also, they learn to use the pictures to get an idea of what the word means. Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Now that you've heard all these stories about Australian animals like the platypus and the wombat, you all can look at these factual books with photographs of Australian animals that I have pulled from the shelves. You and your children can use your new vocabulary and you might even learn some more new words to use as you share these books together.

Submitted by Larisa Martin, Public Library of Charlotte and Mechlenburg County (NC)