Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Literacy Focus--The Gingerbread Man

Quinn has recently fallen in love with Aylsworth's version of THE GINGERBREAD MAN. We read it at least twice a day! This is a great book for her because of the rhyming verse, new vocabulary introduced (sow, butcher...) the repeating lines, "run, run, as fast as you can....," the predictable text, and the fact that there is actually a plot--setting, characters, problem, solution.....We read the book and then talk about different elements for a couple of minutes--sometimes the characters, sometimes the problem, to help build comprehension. I also use a cloze method with her--this means I pause at points in the story to let her fill in lines or words she knows. This also encourages comprehension skills--the most important reading elements that toddlers should be picking up at 2-3 years of age.

So, since we had been reading about the Gingerbread Man, of course today we had to bake some gingerbread cookies!!

We haven't baked cookies together in a couple months and I was amazed at how focused Q was able to stay today! She helped with the entire process--her favorite being decorating the faces of the gingerbread men by adding eyes and a nose and a mouth with sprinkles!

And then, of course, we had to enjoy our cookies!!

It's a great practice when working with young children (toddlers/preschoolers) to take things s-l-o-w with new stories and just let them soak it in.....repeated readings are wonderful for building strong readers (because they encourage the skills mentioned above, which are vital for children to develop confidently as readers later on and not just be "word decoders"), and they also allow children to fully explore new worlds that books open for them.

So, we'll be doing lots of fun things with the Gingerbread Man story this week...and maybe next week, too, if interest is still there!
Stay tuned!!

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