Early Literacy Storytime: Describing Objects

Early Literacy Storytime: Describing Objects

Here’s a way to model talking with kids during your storytime! Lots of families play games like “I Spy” together already. Just add a comment to the grownups in your storytime to help them learn how it helps their children get ready to read.

Before you read a book in storytime, tell the children you want them to look for something in the illustrations: maybe the yellow dog in “I Went Walking,” or the red hat in “I Want My Hat Back.” After you’ve read the book, tell them, “You guys were great noticers! You found that red hat right away. Let’s see what else we can notice in our storytime room.” Have them cup their hands around their eyes like binoculars and look around the room. “Can you find the clock on the wall? Tell someone you’re with what color you see on the clock.” Or, “Can you find something red? Tell someone you’re with what it is.”

After you’ve played a few times, tell the grown ups, “Children have an easier time reading a word if it’s a word they’ve heard and they’ve said. Playing games like this give them a chance to practice saying the words they know. Talking with your children will help them get ready to read.”

If you want, make telescopes or binoculars out of toilet paper tubes and hand them out to the children before you begin!

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5 Responses to Early Literacy Storytime: Describing Objects

  1. Thanks for this Mel. Having read this post I realize I’ve already been doing this, but it helps to know why it is important and how to tell parents why it’s a good thing for their kids to be practicing this skill. I especially like the idea of binoculars to focus on spotting things.

  2. Melissa says:

    Pretty much everything we do in storytime builds early literacy skills, whether we talk about it or not! But giving a quick message to the parents gives THEM more information, meaning, and context. And motivation to keep doing stuff with their kids! Thanks!

  3. Barbara Huff says:

    Sometimes I throw an unplanned ECRR tip in during story time if it seems appropriate at the time. It usually happens when the story time attendees are particularly interested in an activity we are doing. Kind of like sizing up the audience for a stand up comedian…give them more of what they enjoy. Thanks for all your great tips.

  4. Melissa says:

    I think that’s the most powerful time to share a message, when you notice that the grownups are keyed in to what their kids are doing. That interest will make the new information you give them stick! Great job, thanks for sharing!

  5. Kirby says:

    I love the binoculars idea, thanks for sharing!

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