submitted by Mary Catherine from Fun-A-Day.com
In my preschool class, we read so many books! I love sharing stories with the kiddos, and they really get into the books too. While reading new books is always fun, rereading a book allows the children to get an in-depth look at the story.
A favorite book of mine is Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward (and illustrated by Tomie dePaola). It tells the story of a cat named Cookie who gets into all kinds of mischief Monday through Saturday. There’s a “cliffhanger” on Sunday, suggesting that maybe Cookie will rest. I like using the big book version for close reading, as it draws the children in and the text is larger.
Below are five specific ideas for close reading in early childhood classrooms:
1. Ask the children questions that get them thinking about the book. “What do you think Cookie will do next? Do you think Cookie will rest on Sunday? After they’ve answered, ask what in the book led them to their conclusions.
Questions that connect to other books or to the kids’ lives are also important to consider. “Does Cookie’s story remind you of another book we’ve read? Have you done anything that Cookie does in the book?”
2. Create a chart about the story together. For Cookie’s Week, a list about all of the mishaps Cookie has would be great! Remind the kiddos to refer back to the book to check.
3. Make a storyboard based on the book. Work with the children to write about each day from Cookie’s Week, stating what happened in their own words. Students can then add pictures to the class story. This would be a great addition to the bulletin board of any classroom!
4. Have the children make a class book extending the story. Each child can write what he thinks Cookie will do on Sunday or during the next week. Again, this allows for inferences based on the information found in the book.
5. Create story necklaces based on the book. For Cookie’s Week, there would be seven such necklaces, each labeled with the day of the week and showing a picture of what happened that day. Choose a child to wear each of the necklaces, and then let the class work together to put them in the correct order. Again, refer the kids back to the book!
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Mary Catherine is mama to a six year-old kick in the pants, and the force behind Fun-A-Day! She is a pre-k teacher who has also taught kindergarten and Reading Recovery. Mary Catherine is passionate about early literacy and fun, meaningful learning experiences for children. She loves science fiction, dark chocolate, and messy science experiments with her son! You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.