Home » Children's Literature, Early Literacy, Preschool, reading to children » Do You Want to Build a Snowman?: Fun Reading, Writing and Self Concept Sentences

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?: Fun Reading, Writing and Self Concept Sentences

IMG_3306 Trying to make connections between letters, sounds and sentences can be very tricky. It is hard to know just how much reading, read alouds, phonics activities, writing practice and fun discussions are necessary to make for good reading skill sets – all children are different.

Reading quality literature and making associations between written print and spoken words is key. Children often experiment with their environment during play. They love to be in charge, model what they observe and practice their skills by showing what they know. So in an effort to get a few skills across – using self concept sentences is a good focus for young children (pre-school in fact). Making books that highlight each child’s person(ality) and interests is a good start – similar to an All about me book – My name is…, I am…, I like the color…., My favorite food is…, and so on. The idea is to build literacy skills – written print, oral language and reading skills, instead of just reading simple sight word books and memorizing high frequency words with no context or meaning. Using real objects, props and self drawn  pictures can make these projects more meaningful to the children.

Snowman
Another concept that you can introduce is terms and phrases that make sense to children. Phrases that they have heard before or are familiar with – making the connection between written and spoken language. Often times, during a read aloud, many children will say ‘Turn the page’ or ‘I can’t see.’ I always gently tell them – I will as soon as I am done reading the words here at the top – I try to help make the connection that the words on the page are what I am reading.

So a new thought was to blend these two concepts: written and oral language and use it as a writing prompt/environmental print resource. With all the hype, still, on the movie Frozen, I decided to bring in my toys and snowman collection for the kids. I set up the two displays with the sentence strips and our meeting chart had phrases like “Let it go!” and words like Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Frozen.

And some of the children were curious – What does this say? Their curiosity led to initiative -visiting the displays, repeat or sing the phrases, make projects and products of art or print. Most of all it helped to build the connection to written and oral language and further the skills sets necessary for reading and writing. They had fun and it made sense to them in their world.

Happy New Year of Reading and Writing,
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Sources to look into:
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/ages-stages-how-children-develop-self-concept
http://childrens-books.lovetoknow.com/Childrens_Books_with_Sight_Words

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