In the Early Year’s section, lots of the learning is taught in a cross-curricular way through story and information books. In F1 this week, I was involved in sequencing and ordering the animals in the story book called ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’. This is a popular book written by Eric Carle. Eric Carle’s books are distinctive and instantly recognisable. His art work is created through a collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension such as a hole on each page in the hardback version of the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’, and the transparent snowflakes sheets in ‘Dream Snow’, giving them a playful quality.
The F1 children were learning to recall the story, name the characters and the colours. They all joined in with the repetition of the story, which in turn helps to develop their language acquisition.
Another of Eric Carle’s books, called ‘Little Cloud’, was also enjoyed in the F3 class. The children were encouraged to use their imagination and describe the shapes of the different clouds. They then went away and made their own cloud pictures and aeroplanes to fly alongside the clouds. Can you see any clouds in the sky? What shapes do you think they are? Do they remind you of anything?
When reading or looking at books with your children you should try to choose books that interest them so that they will listen and be engaged. Reading aloud helps your child to practise new words and sounds, and can also help to improve their reading comprehension skills. One thing to remember is to have fun, if adults demonstrate a fun and happy approach during storytelling then children are more likely to develop a positive attitude towards reading and stories to.
Here are a few questions that will help you when you are reading to your child at home.
Questions while selecting a book:
• Why did you want to read this book?
• Do you like the book cover? What do you like about it?
• Have you read any other books by this author?
• Is the author also the illustrator of this book?
• What do you think this book might be about?
Questions prior to reading the book:
• What is the title of this book?
• Who are the author and illustrator?
• Does the picture on the cover give us any clues as to what the story might be about?
• (Read the content on the back of the book together.) What clues does this give us about the story and its characters? Does it sound like an exciting/sad/happy story?
Questions while reading the book:
• What has happened so far? What do you think might happen next?
• What can you see in the pictures? Are they helping to tell the story?
• Which character is your favourite? How would you describe them?
• How would you feel if that happened to you?
If you do not have any of Eric Carle’s books at home, lots of his books can be found in the local bookshop ‘Bookworm’: Address; 44, Châu Long, Quận Ba Đình, website; www.bookwormhanoi.com
Alternatively, you can watch these YouTube video clips to take a look at the books your children have been looking at in class.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear YouTube link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek7j3huAApc
Little Cloud YouTube link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGrGjkPiCmc
Official Eric Carle website; http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html
Eric Carle has two children of his own and always tried to support children with their transition from home to school through his books. He was quoted saying;
“I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.”
All the teachers in the Early Years agree with Eric Carle’s quote and they strive to make the learning exciting so that the children are engaged and keen to ask questions which is particularly encouraged through the new International Early Years Curriculum.
Miss Julie Walton
Head of the Early Years