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Books to read and learn with

  • Jan 18, 2021
  • Shannon Nickinson
Florida Celebrate Literacy Weeks books. Florida Celebrate Literacy Weeks books.
The best story is one you share together.

When you read, talk or play with children, their brains are stimulated and build the connections that become the building blocks for reading. Brain development research shows that the development of language and literacy skills begins at birth, and reading aloud to children every day increases their brains’ capacity for language and literacy skills.

Reading a book to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills, but it also builds motivation for reading with curiosity and memory. 

The more words parents and caregivers use when speaking to an infant, the more words infants will recognize and use as they begin to speak.

In 2021, Jan. 25-30 is Celebrate Literacy Week in Florida. Just Read, Florida! Office and the Florida Department of Education are focusing on two stories for this year’s event for children under 5.

If your child is 3 years old or younger, read “Ten Tiny Toes” by Caroline Jayne Church to infants and toddlers (birth to 3-year-olds).

If your child is between 3-5, read “What I Like About Me” by Allia Zobel-Nolan.

Then try some of these suggestions after you read to keep the learning alive. 

“Ten Tiny Toes”

Activity: “Ten Tiny Toes” at diaper time.

As you are changing the diaper, smile and point to baby’s body parts and repeat the words, “Mouth, ears, eyes, nose, arms, belly, legs and ten tiny toes.” 
When diapering is complete, say “touch your belly, laugh and giggle!” Over time, babies will begin to identify their body parts, as well as anticipate an enjoyable interaction with their caregiver.

Physical Development. Exhibits body awareness and starts to move intentionally.
Approaches to Learning. Attends to sights, sounds and people for brief and increasing periods of time and tries to produce interesting and pleasurable outcomes.
Social and Emotional Development. Experiences and develops secure relationship with primary caregiver; begins to respond positively to familiar rituals and routines initiated by familiar adult.
Language and Literacy. Responds to gestures of adults; begins to look at familiar people, objects, or animals when they are named; shows enjoyment of the sounds and rhythm of language.
Mathematical Thinking. Attends to objects in play, such as reaching or looking for more than one object.
Scientific Inquiry. Shows curiosity about own body structure.
Social Studies. Begins to explore characteristics of self.

Activity: Body Parts
Using “Ten Tiny Toes” as a reference, use a teddy bear to gently point out the infant’s corresponding body parts as you read the book. 
Ask your child to find the bear’s mouth, ears, eyes, nose, belly, arms, legs and toes as you read. 

— Physical Development. Demonstrates use of large muscles for movement, position, strength and coordination
— Social and Emotional Development. Develops positive relationships with adults; develops sense of identity and belonging through play.
— Language and Literacy. Shows an understanding of words and their meanings (receptive); shows motivation for and appreciation of reading.
— Scientific Inquiry. Demonstrates knowledge related to living things and their environments.

“What I Like About Me”
For ages 3-5.

Activity: Find the Rhyming Words
Identify the rhyming words on each page in the book.

Rhyming word guide 
Page 1 great/straight 
Page.2 misty/twisty 
Page 3 ball/tall
Page 4 fun/one
Page 5 giggle/wiggle
Page 6 teachers/features
Page 7 white/bright
Page 8 distinguished/English
Page 9 spot/hot
Page 10 eight/great
Page 11 petite/feet
Page 12 great/celebrate

Language and Literacy: Listening and matching rhyming, volume, and pitch of rhymes, songs, and chants.

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