Reading kindergarten- Helping children respond to literature
Reading - kindergarten students enjoy listening to daily picture books and poems. Responding to literature that they have heard is a fun and creative experience for children.
Avoid the tendency to constantly use ready made worksheets. Open up the imagination station instead and you will be surprised at the unique creations the children make as they respond to stories.
As young children are read to again and again they learn:
- that books are for reading,
- that the black marks on the paper represent words and letters,
- that letters represent sounds,
- that print is read from left to right, and
- that they can respond to the literature they hear in many different ways.
After reading a story through a number of times
- discuss the images and how the artist created them
- clarifying the meaning of words and concepts in the story
Trust kids to respond with creativity
Over the years, my students taught me that the important thing was to respond to the literature, not to spend days completing some great project I had thought up. A stick puppet with bits of lace glued on it became a princess in their eyes and they were ready to act out the story.
I encourage teachers to avoid getting children to color and glue exact replicas of the story characters. Instead, let children respond to the characters with modeling compounds, from "imagination station" type objects, scraps of colored construction paper or craft items such as colored popsicle sticks.
The children really like making things that they can actually move around the room such as one student's representation of Curious George, see image below.
Other early literacy ideas - responding to literature
Kindergarten children need opportunities to respond to literature with art, singing, and drama.
During reading kindergarten children need opportunities to make quality guesses for unknown words and events from language patterns and pictures.
Children's appreciation for good literature improves as they hear work from great authors and observe good illustrations.
During reading kindergarten children need opportunities to ask questions about what they have heard or read - does it make sense?
Kids need to ask why a character would do this or that, say when they don't understand something in the story, suggest why a character is excited or scared or sad.
Beginner book sets
Christmas story map
Hands on literacy activities
Listening and speaking
Make your own worksheets software
Math and literature section
Mini-books - tips for using
Outside activities that encourage reading and writing
Picture books - criteria for choosing and suggestions
Picture books 2
Picture book illustrators
Picture book videos (DVDs)
Responding to literature
"Theme" - check out this section for more literacy ideas