Red Hat by Lita Judge is one of my favorite (almost) wordless picture books. It’s a story about forest animals who find a knitted red hat and play with it all day long. Eventually, the hat becomes unraveled. The animals put the hat (or string) back where they found it and hide unsure what the owner might do. The owner of the hat finds the string and realizes what has happened. She ends up knitting hats for all of the animals.
The only words in the book are sounds like “wooo” and “swish swash.” The watercolor illustrations are beautifully done. And fans of Lita Judge may recognize the hat from Red Sled.
Making up the story to go with the illustrations is a great reason to read wordless picture books with your children. While the pictures dictate what will happen in the story, children can make up the words to go with the pictures by using creativity and prior knowledge–two topics that are very important when it comes to comprehension and storytelling.
In honor of Read Aloud Month, we will be doing a series of posts on storytelling, reading aloud to your child, and sharpening your child’s narrative skills. Today, we will be discussing the importance of reading aloud for just 15 minutes every day. Yes, just 15 minutes a day.
So find a favorite picture book and read it this month with your child. Share your favorite childhood chapter book with your child by reading a chapter a day. Let your child choose a new book from the library. And visit storytime as often as you can. In just 15 minutes a day, your child will learn a love a books and reading, gain knowledge, and he will get to spend quality time with you every day!
Parents and caregivers make the difference by just modeling the importance of reading, surrounding children with books, and engaging in the learning process. By doing these simple things, children have a better chance at succeeding in school and throughout each aspect of their lives. For the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the six literacy skills and strategies you can use to practice each skill at home with your family.
Today’s topic is NARRATIVE SKILLS, or the ability to tell stories:
- Tell your child stories, real or make-believe, written in a book or not.
- Read favorite books again and again and again.
- Encourage interaction by asking “What” or “Why” questions and create real life connections to the story.
- Ask your child to tell you something that happened today–and don’t settle for “nothing.”
Storytelling is a very important skill. It helps with imagination and creativity. It can help your child remember a lesson from social studies or science. Learning about the Constitution or Declaration of Independence? Create a story using the events that happened in the time periods to help remember the information better. Learning about the water cycle? Make up a story or song about a cloud and a water droplet. This is also an important skill to learn for sequencing–something children struggle with throughout early childhood.
Cooking/baking, making playdough, and doing other tasks together with your child can help them learn to sequence because these things need to be done in a specific order.
Here are some great books your child will love reading:
Little Red Hen by Byron Barton
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton