Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stuck in the Mud

I helped out at an all day conference concerning building spaces within libraries that are conducive to early literacy development and welcoming to both children and their parents. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a great deal. I'll share a little bit with you at the end.

Stuck in the Mud, by Jane Clarke and illustrated by Garry Parsons, is a building tale similar to the classic Old Man and the Great Big Turnip type of story. Hen is frantic after counting her chicks and finding that one is stuck in the mud. She tries to get him out but gets stuck herself. One by one, Cat, Dog, Sheep, Horse and the farmer try to help out but meet the same fate, culminating in a long pull-out spread showing the desperate scene.

Then the chick hops out. He was never really stuck, and he appreciates all the friends who played with him in the gooey mud.

The story is told with a great rhyme scheme. Remember that rhyming is good for recognizing the individual sounds within words.

Early Literacy Tip of the Day

Maya's cousin, Addy, likes books well enough. But she is a very active little girl and has trouble sitting still long enough to enjoy a book from beginning to end. The good news is, that's ok. She's still developing those early literacy skills.

One of them is Print Motivation, or the enjoyment of books. If your child enjoys only one page of a book then runs off to do something else, it's a positive experience. If, on the other hand, you force your child to sit through an entire reading, they may have heard the words and seen the pictures, but the experience was not a positive one.

I heard a quote today by Perri Klass, Medical Director at Reach Out and Read (I wonder if they use the acronym ROaR).

"There are lots of different ways to cope with an active child and still incorporate reading. As parents, we have to get over the idea that "success" is making it all the way through a book, and sometimes be willing to read one page-or one sentence-at a time, then watch the child get up and run around! Choose books on his favorite subjects (fire engines, dinosaurs, whatever works), or look for books that actually involve an activity (a song to sing together, a rhyme to shout, even movements)..."

So if you have an active child, chin up and keep on reading.


kais_mom said...

I would say our 23 month old son is VERY active, and he LOVES going to the library. The other day, we asked him if he wanted to go to the library, and he squealed and practically ran out the door, singing the word 'library' the whole way there (or at least his version of it).

Now I have to admit, its mostly because this library (the new Maplewood one) has a great kids play area. It has a train table, and my son would go anywhere that has a train table. But there are always lots of books around, which he loves too.

Mostly, though, he's got a love of, and familiarity with the library. I'm grateful for that.

Larry Longard said...

Yes, you're exactly right. Maybe he goes for the train table now, but the books are there. He won't grow up to be one of those kids who stands in the middle of the library and says, "I don't like any of the books here."