Chapter 1 What’s So Special About Literature?
Chapter 1 What’s So Special About Literature?
Growing Up With Literature, 6e
By: Walter E. Sawyer
Is the material age appropriate?
Did I read the story first so I am familiar with it?
How will I motivate the children to want to be involved
with the story?
Where and when will I read the story?
Why am I reading this particular story?
How will I monitor understanding as the reading occurs?
How can I make this story most meaningful to the
Is the story understandable to children from all cultures?
How will I determine what the children got from the
Language learning and reading are positively
related to emotions, physical environment, and past
Help children make connections between what they
already know and new information.
This makes children motivated to acquire and use the new
Most of the brain’s potential is mapped out in the
first year of life.
Literacy develops best in a situation where
conversations are a major focus.
Activities should integrate the physical, social,
emotional, and cognitive domains.
Children should not be expected to all be interested
in or respond to a single activity in the same way.
Adults must plan activities such that bridges to
understanding can occur.
Play is an important vehicle for learning.
From 6-10 months, the babbling varies.
This occurs in deaf children and in children in all cultures.
Infants as young as seven weeks old have been
observed responding to single words in both
isolation and in fluent speech.
Best ways to initiate a connection with
Simple finger plays
Infants enjoy hearing these types of literature
whether they are being cuddled, rocked, or just
resting in a crib.
Books can be read to infants from the moment they
Use hardcover books, boards books, and plastic
Books should include pictures that are simple and
Model respecting books.
Include the use of props and toys. Objects connect
the infant with the tale in a positive, hands-on
Safety is the primary concern
Should be on the floor
Use colorful pillows, quilts, stuffed animals, and
Enjoyable books should be read as often as infants
respond to them
The beginning stages of writing emerge at this
From the first time they touch a crayon to paper, writing has
They need someone to listen to them communicate
about their drawings.
Adults must provide time, opportunities, models,
encouragement, and acceptance.
This is not the time for correction of faulty language
During this time, children
develop a sense of humor.
Toddlers love zany humor.
Stories in which animals act
out of character are
sure to get a response.
Many nursery rhymes
Dr. Seuss books with their
repeating sound patterns
provide a reinforcement for
Toddlers have an interest in the objects and events
They want to know the “whats” and the “whys” of
They want to know who everyone is and what they
Board books and other smaller books are just right
Eric Carle’s writing is exceptional for toddlers. His
illustrations are excitingly colorful.
Reading areas for toddlers must be engaging,
interesting, and safe.
Visibility is important. Furniture should not interfere
with the adult’s ability to maintain eye contact with
Toddlers love to climb
a low loft-type structure can be used.
Use large pillows and stuffed toys in the area.
Rocking chairs are a nice touch in any reading area.
Children are continuing their rapid development of
language skills and vocabulary growth.
Can now use language as a tool for understanding
themselves and their surroundings.
The role of the adults is to interact with the child in
form of listening, answering questions, asking
questions, providing language models, and sharing
Preschoolers are more sophisticated than toddlers
and don’t laugh as readily at dishes running away
They enjoy books like Curious George.
Preschoolers love to play house and act out roles.
Values are often included in the stories intended for
Dr. Seuss’s books often reinforce values while
providing great fun through illustrations and
Preschoolers are fascinated with differences of
gender, size, disability, houses, and so forth.
They have fears that should not be ignored. Fear of
being left alone, anger, frustration, darkness, etc.
Books can help them overcome their fears.
Reading areas should be adventurous.
Daylight should be used when possible; thus, locate
the reading area near a window.
Use realistic posters such as illustrating the inside of
things such as bodies, mountains, and Earth.
Props after the book is read will encourage children
to recreate the story through talk and play.
They have learned the basic rules of language, but
not all the expectations to those rules.
They come to understand how language can
express ideas and emotions, create stories and
meanings, and share life experiences.
Children use invented spelling.
This should be accepted without negative comments.
Five stages of invented
IMHAB (I am happy.)
I lik my mere gornd. (I like my
Mercry is the nerist plaent in
the soler systome.
Can spell most words correctly
and recognizes when
something does not look right.
They respond to epic adventures where, through
enchantment and strength, the hero overcomes evil.
Reading several versions of the same story can help children
They get very involved with learning about their bodies and
Troubling issues greatly affect kindergarten students.
They are concerned with adoption and disabilities.
Content books can provide much information for those
children who thirst to know the what, why, and how of
Interest in reading grows for kindergarten children.
Involve the children – make it a group effort
Should give the feeling that books are an open invitation.
Warm and inviting
Located off the beaten path, away from both large and small
Natural lighting is preferred.
minimum of 100 watts should be used for reading.
Avoid cords in the area
Included many, many books
Display books on front-facing book cases that allow the book
covers to be seen.
Comfort is essential.
Have dividers around 3ft in height to provide privacy.
Nontoxic live plants are pleasing.
Firmly grasp the book so that children can see the
words and pictures.
The area where you read to children should
depend on the size of the group.
Nap time is a good opportunity for reading aloud.
Make it comfortable with lighting and enough
space for children to wiggle without bumping into
Always know the book before attempting to read
or share it with others.
Use libraries for borrowing books.
“First-Aid kit for Books”
Paperback verses hardback books
(What is the difference?)
Use big books and predictable texts
The first step is to understand what accommodations are
needed based on the strengths and needs of the child.
Most children will benefit from the use of multi-sensory
stimulation (e.g. tactile, puppetry, clear expressive
illustrations, a clear voice, and normal gestures).
Children with a specific disability may need a specific
accommodation as well (e.g. a child with a visual impairment
may need the reader to describe the illustrations).