Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Literacy is all around us, and I love watching children explore new facets of their interests. A great suggestion to encourage children to read familiar texts is integrating recipe books into your class library. Teachers can read and model the books to the children, taking time out to point out the types of foods, and ask the children if they recognize any. Recipe books with pictures can be great for picture to text association. An additional activity can be created if the children's interest is sparked through the recipe books. A project that I recently heard a past teacher speaking out really excited me: a family recipe book. Have the children tell you what their favorite at home meal is, possibly one that mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, or auntie cook. After they tell you this, send home a request for a recipe of their dish. When all the recipes are collected, ask each child to read the recipe to you. The younger the child, the more adorable the story. Children will go on and on about their favorite foods, and while they are talking, write down what they are saying. It will go by quickly, but saving these thoughts makes a beautiful ending product. Children can really relate to a favorite food. It has a history, a story that they would love to share and tell the class about. Having them relate the text of their parents writing to a recipe that they probably know pretty well, can be great for their written literacy development. At the end of the process, put together the family recipes, children's version of the recipes, and a drawn picture of each. Send this book home with all the families, and it will be cherished. Ideas like this can build community while tuning early literacy.