Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Voices in Early Literacy

Continuing on from last week, in order for children to develop a love of reading they need to be interested in the books they read and be able to relate to them. Freedom of choice is the most important aspect of developing literacy. A great way to introduce new books and create interests in children is having read-alouds. When teachers read aloud to their students, students can develop connections to the readings.
Children respond to texts in a variety of ways. For example:
Personal Connections: Children draw from their personal experiences. If you are reading book about animals in a zoo, a child might chime in saying, “I went to the zoo with my mommy and we saw the penguins and tigers!”
Predictions: Children can expect what is going to happen next in a story if they can find a pattern. Take for instance the story of The Three Little Pigs, after the wolf visits the house of straw and is able to blow it down he goes to the house made out of sticks. The children can predict that the house isn’t sturdy enough and the wolf will be able to blow the house down.
Evaluations of Books: Children know if they like a book or not and they often express their views. A child may really like the story of The Three Little Pigs while another child does not.
Play with Language: Young children often take things literally. For instance an example given by Judith Wells Lindfors in her book Children’s Language stated that a child mentioned a book should be heavy
Acting Out/ Dramatizing: Children can take a book or story to a whole new level by acting it out. Children can create the story of The Three Little Pigs by making houses out of items found in the classroom such as blocks. By acting it out children gain a different perspective on the story.
These are just a few of the ways children respond to texts. So pick a book and read it aloud and see what your child can discover!


  1. Very good post. This list is a good resource for introducing these ideas to use in class. There are important because they incorporate reading and student participation. Personally my favorite of these five ideas is having the children evaluate the reading. It causes them to think about the reading and it allows the teacher to see what a student really thinks.

  2. Acting a story out is such a positive way to connect reading to play. Children will be eager to find more stories that they can incorporate into their dramatic play. Perhaps initiating the dramatic play with a child and then introducing a story afterwards would be an interesting way to get a child hooked on books.

  3. Your thoroughness in the post is great; it displays just how important literacy really is. Because it touches on all areas of learning and development, there is quite a lot of depth. I especially liked your mentioning of what your a modeling for a child during read-alouds. It reminded me that teachers must prepare and practice prior too read-alouds in order to be the most affective. For example, how will a teacher accomplish holding such a big book while making sure every single child can view the illustrations. These are the small details that will make a difference in the outcome of this time.