Monday, September 08, 2014

Teachable Moments while Reading Books with Small Children (Pre-K-2)

A First Grader Reads No. David!

The Richness of the Experience was to me an Awesome Surprise!

I recently had a tutoring experience that illustrated the power of books and imagination. A first-grader was reading a beginners book about David who always gets in trouble but his Mom always loves him anyway. In having the child explain what had happened and what story the pictures were telling, page by page, I was able to (1) reinforce and teach vocabulary and sentence structure, (2) to check for actual understanding, and (3) get a dialogue going about the child's thoughts, experiences and imagination. We were even able to (4-5) discuss consequences of actions, both in a social sense and in a scientific sense.

Now I know all you elementary teachers know this, but I am more used to working with older kids, grades 7-12. My point here is that just reading the story with a child or to a child provides only half the learning potential of a good book.

Teaching Science in a Reading Lesson

We even got a science lesson out of the book. I asked her what was wrong with how he was standing on the books. We demonstrated the danger with her sitting on her piano bench correctly and sitting on the very edge. I gave the bench a gentle nudge for each position. When the bench began to topple over while she sat on the edge, we giggled and she completely understood the consequences of David's unbalanced position. 

I suppose I could have asked her why the water in the fishbowl was level with the book bottom, but I didn't.

Learn More about David Shannon

Read about Shannon, the author, on Wikipedia.,_David

I Highly Recommend the David series by D. Shannon

After having my first grade student read and discuss several of these books by David Shannon, I can say that the series is a valuable teaching tool. Each appeared at first glance to be such a simple story with little in it to advance learning. Was I wrong! The child loved the books, the underlying message, the same in each, is essential to a child's emotional development, and the stories are realistic. These are classics, right up there with Dr. Seuss.

No comments: