Introduction: When we use books that are fun and use imagination, our children make a connection to the story. In Peanut and Fifi Have a Ball written by Randall de Seve and illustrated by Paul Schmid, Peanut has a new ball and Fifi tries so hard to get her to play. Watch how this story uses a simple item and adds imagination.
Read the book.
Activity: Act out the story.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Acting out the story, dramatic play, reinforces both the story itself and the pleasure about the story. By internalizing the story, they are better able to understand it.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: I hope you’ll encourage playing with stories at home as well. Take a box, ruler, blanket, ball, or many other simple items and use make believe to encourage play. Other books that work with Play and imagination are Not a Box and Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis. After playing with a simple item, you can always expand on this play by having your child draw something they did, dictate a story about their play, or just describe what they did with the item. Using writing to expand on the story validates your child’s play. Talking about and recording the story, going over the sequence is uses their narrative skills which helps your child learn how stories work by using first, next, and last.
Submitted by Dianna Burt, Allen County (IN) Public Library
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Today we talked about farm animals and sang Old Macdonald. Here is an activity sheet for you and your child to draw farm animals and talk about the sounds they make, which is a first stem to helping your children hear the smaller sounds in words. Don’t worry if you can’t figure out which animal your child has drawn. Your child will tell you what it is. Enjoy!
Old Macdonald Had a Farm Handout
Read the book You Can Do Anything, Daddy by Michael Rex.
Craft/Activity: In this book, the boy is thinking of bad things that might happen to him. His father is figuring out how to save his son. I am giving each of you [adults and children] a piece of paper. On one side I want you to draw something you think of that is scary for you. On the other side I want you to think of something your a grownup could do to help you. It is all pretend, make-believe. What can you think of?
Eary Literacy Aside: Having your children draw and then tell you about what they drew develops their narrative skills. It also gives us a window into their thoughts. You can also write down what your children say with the picture so that they make the connection between the written and the spoken word. This helps develop their print awareness, knowing that print has meaning.
As you read the book, ask the children to identify the animals in the book. Talk about the landscape in the pictures–where in the world might this take place? Use words the children may not know (arctic, icebergs, ice floes, glaciers, etc.). Also, talk about Tacky the Penguin’s personality, his uniqueness and originality, explaining words children may not know. For an activity, have children and adults draw and color a penguin however they want.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: We used lots of interesting words today with Tacky the Penquin, some were not even in the book. This helps develop your child’s vocabulary. On your way home, talk about being creative and ways your child is unique, using some of the interesting words we used today and adding your own. Through talking and talking about your children’s drawings there are many opportunities to expand your child’s vocabulary.
Submitted by David Banker, Radford (VA) Public Library