The importance of reading skills as a comprehensive first step toward literacy cannot be overstated. Herminingrum (2020) emphasizes that the surroundings and personal qualities impact children’s readiness to read and early literacy development. Teachers must not only lead but also challenge children of pre-school age, 3-6 years old, to generate their motivation from the first reading step to stimulate their interest in reading (Herminingrum, 2020). The observational data collected include the reading abilities and interests of children. Essentially, my colleague and I decided to conduct a preliminary survey among children to map their reading habits. Strategies used during collaboration with my colleague included research and review of articles and helpful websites to develop activities.
We agreed that choosing reading content is essential for increasing children’s interest and drive. Picture books are a time-honored method of providing pupils with a multisensory experience that may help them develop their vocabulary, grasp sentence structure, and stimulate story analysis (Scholastic, n.d.). We discovered that children’s personalities vary but that they are primarily choleric; active learning and interaction are therefore encouraged. Differentiation was considered because reading abilities were different; nonetheless, we noticed that all kids prefer to play outside and want to learn more about animals and the environment.
As a result, we picked the following books: “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes,” and “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale” (Scholastic, n.d.). Murphy and Mair (2018) state that book-sharing, namely teachers and children reading books together, improves vocabulary knowledge, literacy convention recognition, visual competence, excellent writing and oral abilities, and even beneficial behavioral effects. Thus, the weekly calendar will include shared reading activities.
Play may be a beneficial component for vocabulary development. Play is frequently intrinsically fascinating, interactive, and meaningful for children. The multidisciplinary science of learning literature indicates that such purposeful and socially engaging learning contexts in which children are active and engaged increase literacy (Toub et al., 2018). Thus, we will use a pile of paper plates and draw an animal on each. Afterward, using packing tape, my colleague and I will secure each paper plate to a cushion and distribute them across the room. The children should begin on one side of the room and attempt to jump to the opposite side without hitting the floor. We will ask them to name the animal on the paper plate as they leap to each new cushion. This game is fun for children, and it will help them learn and remember animals.
Another interactive activity to learn letters is called “Crocodile Circle.” We will picture a crocodile-faced bin stuffed with letters and surprise cards. “Crocodile, crocodile down by the lake; I am going to reach right in and see what (letter) you ate,” the children sing as they pass the crocodile around the circle (Malvik, 2021). The child holding the crocodile then takes a letter and names it. Extra surprise cards allow children to repeat a turn or reverse directions. Additionally, we will prepare flashcards with different letters and pictures of animals (L-Lion, C-Crocodile, T-Tiger, A-Antelope, etc.). We will show the cards to the children and ask them to name an animal. Therefore, children will learn the alphabet faster and in a fun way.
To conclude, the collaboration with my colleague affected the way I observed the classroom because via sharing our opinions, we supplemented each other’s knowledge about children and the possibilities of their literacy development. We discussed various plays, books, and activities based on our research to choose the best suitable for our group of children. The experience with collaboration and designing literacy instructional activities was cheerful and helpful.
Herminingrum, S. (2020). A scrutiny to pre-school children’ activity fostering the fundamental aspect of literacy. KnowEx Social Sciences, 1(01), 63-72. Web.
Malvik, C. (2021). 25 fun literacy activities for preschoolers. Web.
Murphy, A., & Mair, O. (2018). English for young learners from pre-school to lower secondary: A CLIL teacher training project in Italian Schools. Universitas Studiurum.
Scholastic. (n.d.). Teacher picks: Top 25 picture books. Web.
Toub, T. S., Hassinger-Das, B., Nesbitt, K. T., Ilgaz, H., Weisberg, D. S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Nicolopouloud, A., & Dickinson, D. K. (2018). The language of play: Developing preschool vocabulary through play following shared book-reading. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 45, 1–17. Web.