Yup, reading a CD.
Good readers don’t just read books…they read maps and signs and recipes and forms and instructions and labels and dozens of other print sources. When we call out that type of reading, modeling it and naming it for our children, we are increasing the chances that they will discover a personally rewarding, personally meaningful reason for reading that will motivate them. Not every child is instrinsically interested in whether the Dog makes it to the treetop party in “Go Dog Go.” Not every child is primarily fascinated by fictional stories, and yet, that’s most often what we read in storytime.
When these kids understand that reading also happens outside of books, and can help them learn about the things they are interested in, it can be a big “aha” moment for them, giving them a genuine, meaningful connection to print.
One way you can model non-book reading in storytime is to choose a song from a CD to play. Read through the liner notes on the CD and see if you can discover something interesting about the musician, or a fact about one of the songs. Then, before or after you play the song in storytime, hold up the CD box and show it to the children. You can say something like, “When we play a CD, we listen to the music with our ears, but did you know you can also read about the songs [or the CD or the musician] on the box?” Then read what you’ve selected to the children. If there wasn’t any cool biographical info, you can always just show them that there is a list of songs on the back of the box, or point out the name of the CD (“Did you know CDs have titles just like books? This one is called…”). You could say, “Isn’t that cool? Reading is not just for books…reading is everywhere!”
Then tell the adults, “When you show your children all the different ways that you read during the day, they learn that there are lots of reasons to be a reader. The more reasons they learn, the more motivation they may have to become good readers themselves.”