Friday, April 5

Using Window Clings for Literacy

Some days the littlest things can be learning opportunities. You can encourage your little learner to use vocabulary, language, and story telling by putting up window clings in your house for the season or for holidays (I got some butterfly ones for seventy percent off after Easter!).

Here's how to do it...
#1: Grab a few sheets of window clings from Target or Michael's....they are predictably on sale after each holiday and can be saved for next year.

#2: Act as an assistant to your child - peel off what they want you to and help arrange things if needed.

#3: You might have to help your youngster get started by asking if they can imagine a story about the ladybugs, or if the caterpillar has a name, etc.

#4: Sit back and let the storytelling begin! Try to listen more than talk...I know it's hard.

#5: Good readers have lots of vocabulary in their bag of tricks and they only learn them by hearing and using the words. Try to find some words to describe their picture that they may not have heard frequently.

#6: If you have an older child, they get a kick out of it when you grab your laptop and write down their story in a word document then print it out for them to color. It helps them see themselves as writers and storytellers.

#7: Share any connections you can make. Ours gave us an opportunity to listen to a song because the ladybugs reminded me of the "Ladybug Picnic" song from Sesame Street. We pulled it up on the web and enjoyed that song together, too. I tell you all of this because sometimes a teeny thing that you do can really help your child's literacy development. So don't discount those little things you do. You may not know how much they can be helpful or how one more phrase to guide them into telling a story can help. For little teeny ones, it doesn't have to be a whole story either. Just interacting with you and saying the main words and describing the colors would be great!

If you're interested, here's part of the story my five-year-old son came up with on his own. Pretty funny!

"The three ladybugs are two sisters and a brother. The sister got her hair cut. The caterpillar comes to join them. They're having a race to the bell pepper. Whoever touches it first gets to eat it and then they have a feast. This window is their home. There are hundreds of flowers. And they only eat this kind of flower, so they gather it up before night because that's their dinner. So they ate some of those, too. One of the butterflies sisters flew by. Not the brothers, because they came last. They're usually late in the story. Because this is a story of ladybugs that I'm telling you. One of the sisters swooped by and ate the flower because she flew by a flower. The butterfly won and Mr. Caterpillar had to turn around to get it. He was long enough to grab it from here except the butterfly was faster so he grabbed it first. Then a small breeze came. And then one of the other butterfly sisters showed up. And she told them it was almost time for them to go because it was almost dinner time. She was the one that had the longest antennaes.Then the brother came along and said "What's Happening?" and then the sister ladybug said, "We're having a big party and you missed the feast though!" and then he said "What feast?" and then they said, "We had a picnic out front of the ladybug's house. And then one of the other brother butterflies came. But then it was starting to rain and it was time to go. Everybody said goodbye and they lived happily ever after. The End."

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