Recently, I began a six-week early literacy program with our local ABCD/Headstart program. (Read more…) Through a generous gift to the Boston Public Library’s Reading Readiness Fund, students all over the city are provided with the opportunity to build their at-home libraries while working on their literary skills in a fun way! Topics we cover include rhyming, textures, and alphabet sounds, and each unit comes with corresponding books; The Seals on the Bus (Lenny Hort), Is it Rough? Is it Smooth? Is it Shiny? (Tana Hoban), and Alligators All Around (Maurice Sendak).
The first week, my group and I covered “Basic Book Skills.” Together, we named the different parts of the book, showed each other how to turn the pages without ripping them, and talked about how to protect a book and keep it safe. After reading Read It, Don’t Eat It and Maybe a Bear Ate It I showed the class a book that we had to withdraw from our collection, because it had torn pages and melted chocolate on it. The kids really liked being able to point out all the things the patron had done wrong in taking care of the book!
For our very last activity, I gave each child a small canvas tote bag. Earlier in the week I had labeled each bag with a student’s name, and once we began the activity I encouraged the kids to rewrite their names and had them decorate their bags with fabric markers that I had purchased. As I filled up their bags with their books, each child told me about their bags and what they had drawn. Not only was this a great way to work on motor skills and colors, but it reiterated the message about having a designated place to keep their books, hopefully helping to steward in a new generation of literary lovers!