Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Old MacDonald had a Woodshop

Here's another one of those books that changes up a familiar children's song in a fun way. Old MacDonald had a Woodshop, by Lisa Shulman and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, sets several animals to work in a tiny shop.

Old MacDonald does the sawing. "With a zztt zztt her and a zztt zztt there...." The goat uses a hammer. "With a tap tap here and a tap OUCH! there...." And so on (Don't miss that ouch.)

I love when I get to sing a book instead of reading it. Maya does, too. Another book with this many pages and this much text would be too long for her, but we read this one quite a bit (I have to sing pretty fast to get to the end, though).

At the end of the book, guess what these industrious little critters have created.

Early Literacy Tip of the Day

I was reading a study recently about reading with children, and the routine that's created by the way we do it. The researchers observed several mothers reading to their sons, and how they responded to the boys' interest in the activity. After a few months they noticed that the boys who were coerced to sit still for the reading in a negative manner or were read the book straight through with no interaction developed or maintained an aversion to book sharing. Boys who were allowed to roam, flip back and forth in the book, or interacted with their mothers during the reading tended to develop more of an affinity for book sharing.

I had a few problems with the approach the researchers took and some connections they made without considering age and general activity level, but I did learn something from this. I struggle with allowing Maya to hurry through a book or turn the pages the wrong way. I of course want to read the whole thing. But I have to remember that it's the quality of the experience that will lead to Print Motivation (or the love of books) and more reading in the future.

There's a wonderful video on the Hennepin County Library website of a grandfather, I think, reading to a little boy who hops off his lap to go look at something else in the room. The grandfather continues to read and talk with the boy about the book. And the boy comes back, goes away, and comes back again. It's very inspiring.


kakragtorp said...

That's a great tip, Larry!
I've recently started just reading on out loud by myself when Addy walks away from a book we are 'reading' together. Frankly, I feel a bit silly reading out loud to a toddler who doesn't seem to be paying attention - so its nice to hear that it might not be such a silly idea after all.
Also, for better or worse, I tend to summarize the text in some board books that would otherwise go WAY to slow for her attention span - any thoughts on that?

Larry Longard said...

I think that's a great idea. Sometimes I think publishers don't match up the content with the format very well. Also, occasionally I would want to use a book for storytime with simply too much text. I would practice and learn the story well, so that I could tell it from memory in an abbreviated form. Good luck. What you're doing sounds wonderful.