A Great Preschool Reading Tip and My Favorite Thanksgiving Read Alouds
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! It is a time to relax with family and friends without all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Whether you are traveling to see family or just relaxing at home, it is a perfect time to slow down and spend quality time with your family and friends. Today, I am sharing one of my favorite reading tips to use with children related to special trips or events!
A Reading Tip You Don't Want to Miss!
Special trips and events offer a great opportunity to take reading with children to the next level! The first part is easy! Before the special event, intentionally choose books that are related to the upcoming activity. Reading related books builds excitement, sparks conversation, and also provides a great opportunity to discuss predictions about what might happen on the trip or at the event. Choose books that are very similar to what the children will experience, and others that are not. This is also a great opportunity to bring in some non-fiction read alouds!
Now comes the part that most people overlook! After children experience the trip or event, re-read the same books that were read prior. Use this time to engage in some deeper conversations. This is a great time to think about personal experiences and feeling and how they were similar and different from characters in the story. Talk about things that you hope to do on your next big trip! Remember, conversations are key to children's growth and brain development!
Discussion Questions to Ask Children
First Reading of the Book (before event)
Second Reading of the Book (after event)
What makes this event special in the book?
Did you experience the same things as the characters in this book?
How were the characters feelings?
What were some of the things that were the same as your trip? Different?
Do you think that you will experience the same things?
Do you have the same feelings as the characters?
Why does practicing these skills matter?
•Longitudinal studies have shown that oral language and vocabulary skills of children from birth to age 3 are strong predictors of academic achievement throughout elementary school
•A study from MIT shows that there are positive and direct impacts on brain development from child-led conversations. The more conversation exchanges, the more active the brain!
•Research shows that active reading (deliberate teaching of ideas and information in a text) builds oral language and vocabulary.
•Comprehension skills in children as young as age 4 are predictive of later performance of reading comprehension in upper elementary school grades.
Trafton , A. (2018, February 13). Back-and-forth exchanges boost children's brain response to language. MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://news.mit.edu/2018/conversation-boost-childrens-brain-response-language-0214
Trafton, A. (2018, February 13). Talking with your children is important for their brain development. Talking to Your Children Is Important for Their Brain Development.
Retrieved September 19, 2022, from https://www.aau.edu/research-scholarship/featured-research-topics/talking-your-children-important-their-
Van den BROEK∗, P., KENDEOU, P., LOUSBERG, S., & VISSER, G. (2011). Preparing for reading comprehension: Fostering text comprehension skills in preschool and
early elementary school children. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 4(1), 260–268.
Walker, D., Greenwood, C., Hart, B., & Carta, J. (1994). Prediction of school outcomes based on early language production and socioeconomic factors. Child
Development, 65(2), 606. https://doi.org/10.2307/1131404
Ready to Jump Right In and Try It?
Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving books!
Where is Baby's Turkey? by Karen Katz turkey is a great book for toddlers! Baby is looking for his stuffed turkey in a variety of places. The book has very simple illustrations that children can relate to around Thanksgiving....a great vocabulary builder. And, who doesn’t love a flip and find book? You can re-create the story on your own with these free printables!
Ages 2-3 Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit by Normal Bridwell. Clifford has quite a journey traveling to see his mother on Thanksgiving. There is a lot of opportunity to make connections to all the troubles that families make to see their families on Thanksgiving! In the end, Clifford is most excited to be back with Emily Elizabeth!
Franklin's Thanksgiving by Paulette Bourgeois. Grandma and Grandpa can't make it to Thanksgiving at Franklin's home this year. Franklin surprises his family
by inviting friends and neighbors to join their Thanksgiving. This is such a sweet story about the fun of Friendsgiving!
Arthur's Thanksgiving by Marc Brown. Arthur is the director of the school Thanksgiving play. When nobody volunteers to play the part of the turkey, Franklin is feeling worried that the play will be a disaster. In the end, Arthur reluctantly plays the part, and his family steps in with a special surprise of support!
A Charlie Brown Thankgiving by Charles Schulz. Charlie Brown gets himself in a pickle! His friends have invited themselves over for Thanksgiving but he’s supposed to be going to his grandmother’s house. On top of it all, he doesn't have a clue how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner. After a little bit of a disaster and some hurt feelings, everything works out. His friends end up joining him at his grandmother's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Such a sweet story for character building!
I hope that you can take the time to read these sweet stories BEFORE and AFTER your Thanksgiving festivities!
Do you have any Thanksgiving favorites? Share them in the comments!
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