As children’s professionals, we know the Every Child Ready to Read concepts. Maybe you address a certain one in every program. Maybe parents ask more about them. Maybe you can say them in your sleep. Maybe you didn’t realize they had a name, but are still using them all in your daily work.
Whatever your story is, the five key practices (talk, read, sing, write and play) aren’t going anywhere. I’m dedicating the next few months of my blog posts to focusing on the five practices and concrete ideas to use them in your daily programming.
Today’s post is about TALK: incorporating language by talking to kids from the beginning- describing actions and items, telling stories and listening and responding to children. Children listen to spoken language and then learn new words, their meaning and knowledge about the world around them and later on the meaning of what they read.
- “I Spy” around the library or inside a display case. Have a challenge card for kids to look for different specific items, or different shapes, colors, and sizes.
- Voting or other choices. Make an interactive poll where children need to decide between their favorite flavor ice cream, or book character, or color. This is a great conversation starter.
- Play games like “Simon Says,” “Red Light, Green Light,” or “Duck, Duck, Goose,” that encourage speaking and listening
- Put up a puppet stage to encourage putting on shows and telling stories. No stage, just put out puppets or pictures/ puppets on a stick or use a felt board and felt pieces.
- Put out wordless books and encourage kids to fill in the words on their own.
The CLEL Bell Awards are announced annually and have one winner in each practice. Here’s the past few years of TALK winners with links to the CLEL created activity sheets:
- How to Say Hello to a Worm by Kari Percival (2023)
- It Was Supposed to be Sunny by Samantha Cotterill (2022)
- The Paper Kingdom by By Helena Ku Rhee, Illustrated by Pascal Campion (2021)
- Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer (2020)
- Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (2019)
- Babies Need Words Every Day TALK Poster
- Talking is Teaching
- Dialogic Reading
- Colorado Virtual Library blog all about Talking
- Toledo Library Talking blog
- NLB Children and Teens- page focused on Talk
- Lake County Public Library- Talking Equals Early Literacy
- Learning to Talk and Listen: An oral language resource for early childhood caregivers
- CELL Practices- Talk is Fun
This post addresses ALSC competency group I: Commitment to Client Group point 5: Understands current educational practices, especially those related to literacy and inquiry.