Books are a GREAT way to INTRODUCE new concepts. If I am teaching about shapes, focusing on squares, I might pick a book from my expansive library that centers around squares. But~ I would make sure that I discuss the pre-conceived understandings about squares first. I might ask the little one “What do you know about shapes?” This one question “What do you know?” is probably on the first column of a 3 column KWL chart of classrooms all across the country. The K stands for “Know” -what do you already know? The W stands for “Want” -what do you want to learn? and the L stands for “Learned” – what you have learned after the subject is taught. So a great way to plan your teaching is to first learn what your “student” already knows about the topic.
Then, I might make some associations – brainstorming with the little one about what squares remind them of.
THEN…I would read a book about it 🙂 – but this is a great time to bring in visuals, dig a little deeper into the topic, and ask questions throughout the reading that get them thinking.
Afterwards, I could do an extension activity with them to “extend” their understandings, or have them record (draw) what they have learned about shapes from our discussion and book.
And quite honestly, as a teacher, I learned a lot from books; not just growing up reading books. I learned a lot from reading books to my Kindergarteners. In fact, I love kids books and grew an appreciation for them, but I still find it important to select books strategically. You need a good balance of fiction and non-fiction. You need to select a variety for each topic. And you need to make sure the book is engaging.
There is a difference between read-aloud books that carry a life lesson, and books that teach a specific subject matter. I have tons of favorite read-aloud books, and a lot of favorite books on each theme I am teaching. Buying them can be great to have your own little library, or you can check your local library for availability.
Either way, I am going to make an amazon list of books for you to check out. Feel free to E-MAIL ME if you have any questions about searching for specific resources.
So, if you haven’t figured it out already…today’s activity is to READ with purpose whether it be on colors, shapes, counting, alphabet principles, etc. 🙂