Jump into Literacy: Active Learning for Preschool Children by Rae Pica
Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Gryphon House; 1 edition (June 1, 2007)
Source of book: Review copy from publisher
Every now and then I'm going to share some wonderful resources that parents and teachers can use to help their children develop language and literacy skills. Jump into Literacy: Active Learning for Preschool Children is one of these resources.
Theory Behind the Book: The introduction to the book thoroughly discusses the theories behind the book and references a number of studies. The basic gist is that the components of emergent literacy are listening, speaking, reading, and writing and children learn best through active involvement--by moving, by participating, by having fun.
Divided into four sections with activities to help children develop skills in the four components of emergent literacy (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), the book offers fun activities for preschool children.
At the top of each page is a brief description of the activity's role in emergent literature, "Promotes listening skills and auditory discrimination," and "Develops letter recognition," for example. After a very brief introduction, the activity is divided into at least two parts: "To have," which lists the materials you need to complete the activity, and "To Do," which gives step by step instructions.
Some activities have a "More to do," section which gives ideas for expansion activities. The good news is that many of the activities require no materials, and those that do require inexpensive items such as lists of words, chart paper, markers, and a beach ball--probably things you can find around the house or things that are in typical preschool classrooms.
The activities themselves are organized from lowest to highest difficulty for the child to do, so there is a nice variety of activities for children who are different skill levels. All of them seem easy to prep for and to conduct, averaging around 3 to 5 steps.
In addition, they are engaging and diverse, so you and your children won't get easily bored.
Some of my favorites include:
- "Retell Me a Story:" The teacher/parent reads a short book to children, and the children take turns acting it out from beginning to end.
- "Little Miss Muffet:" The teacher/parent reads the nursery rhyme to children, and the children repeat each line, acting it out at the same time
- "Pass out a Rhythm:" The teacher/parent and children sit in a circle. The teacher/parent claps a simple rhythm, and each child in the circle repeats it.
Also check out Gryphon House's website, which has tons of free activities.