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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Story Books - A starting point for teaching Preschoolers

Mother reading to child
A storybook is a versatile tool that can help your child develop an understanding, respect and appreciation for other cultures, people of all works of life as well as the things around her.

Stories are beneficial in many ways, as they help children to:

* Enrich their understanding and learning experience.

* Develop listening and concentration skills and facilitate greater verbal communication.

* Develop positive attitudes towards print, text and eventually reading. Teaching your child to handle the books with care and love.

* Exercise the imagination and explore the creative side through the illustrations.

* Develop new ideas - I have always wondered how children would end a story given their own choice and are not shown the end of the book. I belief we would get quite creative replies!

* Be exposed to correct grammar, varied sentence structure and tenses.

* Become more willing to express their thoughts and feelings.

Ways to promote learning through stories:

1. Books provide facts as well as fiction, so let your child be a researcher for a day or imaginative author creating fantasy stories.

2. Use the language from the story books in role-play and games.
Mother and child role playing as pirates

3. Retell stories in a more simple way.

4. Let your child recall and tell the story in her own words so that she will develop her memory and language skill.

5. Let her create her own version of the story by changing the ending, giving a twist, adding a character from another story etc.

6. While you read to your child, use variation in volume, pitch and tempo as well as use your voice for pause and effects. You should also use body language, facial or hand gestures to express the story. It not only makes the story more interesting, it will also help your child to develop her interest in books and her own reading style.

What kind of books to choose?

For young children, books that are attractive, have original illustrations will capture their interest.

Make sure that the book is age appropriate, otherwise you will not be able to sustain your child's interest and thus she will not engage in a positive way with the book. (She will be bored)

Choose books with the following elements

* Repetitive rhymes or text.

* Fun engaging characters and a simple story line

* Great illustration for discussion

* books that allow your child to participate - some examples are those that your child can answer questions or pull or lift tap to find the answer etc.

* A moral or behavioural pattern that you wish to reinforce, or an environmental issue or cultural understanding that you want to promote.

* Potential to learn a diversity of things. For example, The Hungry Caterpillar - where the days of the week, counting, names of fruit, life cycle of a butterfly - all can be learnt from one book!
The Hungary Caterpillar

What other ways have you found reading books to be beneficial to your children. Is there a special or interesting book that you would like to recommend. Please feel free to give your thoughts and comments.

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Blogger Guardian Angel said...

I am so glad there are parents who are eager to help kids to enjoy reading books, just like one of my posts.

This is such a very useful post.

Just hope you can continue your advocacy. Keep it up!

I will try my best to come back and visit you again.

March 6, 2008 at 2:20 PM  
OpenID parentalpower said...

I totally agree about using stories to help teach children principles and concepts. I recently interviewed the author of "Brave Little Monster" on my podcast. His name is Ken Baker, and he has created a little story book to help kids face their fears. You can pick up that interview through my parenting blog at www.parentalpower.wordpress.com. I also really enjoy Kirk Weisler and his books, "The Dog Poop Initiative" which helps kids to learn initiative, and "The Cookie Thief" which is about not jumping to conclusions.

April 15, 2008 at 6:50 AM  

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