Early Literacy



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The Importance of Early Literacy

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Poetry for the World! Dust off those haikus and sharpen up those rhymes. It’s time to celebrate all things verse with World Poetry Day on March 21. Originally observed in October, World Poetry Day shifted to a spring celebration in 1999 when UNESCO made a declaration to have an annual day to promote reading, writing, teaching and publishing poetry. The goal was to spur poetry movements regionally, nationally and throughout the world. Poetry is arguably the most experimental of the literary arts. Poetry plays with words and language, often hiding meaning behind evocative phrasing. And because much poetry uses some form of rhyme scheme - making it accessible and easy to remember - poetry is a perfect avenue to encourage children to become immersed in words. Lullabies and nursery rhymes help very young children develop pre-reading skills like vocabulary and elements of speech.

In Canada, World Poetry Day acts as an appetizer for National Poetry Month which runs throughout April, with a theme this year of Food and Poetry. It’s the perfect time to indulge in a family fun night perhaps with pizza and poems!

Tips for sharing poetry with your child

• Make a habit of reading poetry with your child. You might want to read a poem before bed or after supper every night.

• Play a game of finding words that rhyme.

• Younger children enjoy ‘sing-song’ poems with a strong rhythm like Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

For older children, you may want to get an anthology (a book with a whole bunch of different poems and authors) or find poems on the Internet.

• After reading a poem, ask your child questions about what they heard, feel and think; you will likely share a great conversation! Children’s poetry book gems

• A Treasury of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, by Linda Yeatman

• Revolting Rhymes, by Roald Dahl • When We Were Very Young, by A. A. Milne

• Falling Up, by Shel Silverstein

• The Llama Who Had No Pajama, by Mary Ann Hoberma

• The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, compiled by Jack Prelutsky For lists of great children’s books by age and resources to help your child develop critical literacy skills and a joy of reading, visit calgaryreads.com.

Loving to read is our goal The building blocks for literacy should be fun.

They are: Read ● Talk ● Sing ● Play

READ Reading aloud with your child is one of the most important daily activities to aid their development and build a lifetime joy of reading. Throughout the early years make it a daily activity.

Later, when your child is reading – you can take turns reading aloud to each other Reading aloud tips:

• Protect time for reading

• Read for a short time

• Make it a daily routine

• Make it a habit

• Relax and enjoy the time together How to read aloud to your child

• Have a comfortable spot away from distractions

• Choose a book that you and your child will both enjoy

• Hold the book or digital device so you can both see it

• Talk with your child about the title, cover, author and illustrator

• Read to your child with enthusiasm • Talk lots about the book with your child; encourage questions

• Read and reread your child’s favourite stories

TALK Whatever you are doing include your children and talk to them about what’s going on. Talking helps your child learn about the world and relate this knowledge to the reading process. Some possibilities:

• While peeling carrots and getting ready for dinner

• Out shopping and looking for certain things

• About the weather or what’s happening outside or in traffic

• While making cookies or washing up

• Describe what you are doing and ask questions

• Tell stories COME TOGETHER. Around the dinner table, long car trips or tucking your child into bed are all wonderful opportunities to tell and read stories

• Describe the surroundings

• In the car, on the bus, during a walk, or in the grocery store line-­‐up, talk about things you see, and things your child is interested in

• Ask questions SING There are simple songs that are part of games. Others include touch, hand gestures or tickles.

• Nursery rhymes

• Cradle and goodnight songs

• This Little Piggy

• Round and Round the Garden

• You Are My Sunshine

• Itsy Bitsy Spider

• Hickory Dickory Dock

• The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round

PLAY There are lots of simple games you can play at home, in the park or playground, while driving in the car, and when visiting with family and friends

• I spy

• Dress-­‐up

• Pretend adventures

• Follow-­‐the-­‐leader

• Peek-­‐a-­‐boo

• On-­‐off, Up-­‐down, Stop-­‐go

• Look for lady bugs . . . or worms

• Make snow angels

• Play games & make puzzles

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