What brings parents and children from all over the city to Chandler Public Libraries? Storytime! High Five is a great addition to Storytimes at Chandler Public Library, and introduces five key concepts in early literacy: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play. But there's more to say about Early Literacy! Read on for tips on how to get a conversation started with your child and build their background knowledge.
Talking with your 0-5 year-old is key to future reading success because it builds his or her background knowledge. Background knowledge is everything your child experiences before formal education begins. Building that background knowledge is a big job and it starts at birth, with you doing lots of talking.
However, maybe you feel really awkward carrying on a one-sided conversation with an infant. Or maybe you just lose steam when your preschooler finds an app on the iPad much more mesmerizing than your attempt at conversation. Well, we’ve got an idea for you. Take your child for a walk.
One awesome place to walk this time of year is. So plop your little guy in the stroller or lace up your daughter's sneakers and head out on one of the park’s paths for a walk full of interesting sights and sounds, perfect for building background knowledge.
Talk about what you can see. “Look, there’s a cottontail rabbit. The one we saw back there was a jackrabbit. Did you notice anything different about them?” Talking on a slow paced walk is the perfect time to practice waiting for your child to answer. Give your child plenty of time to think before they respond.
Talk about things you hear. “Do you hear that chirping? Is that a bird singing? I wonder where he is. Is he up in that jacaranda tree?” If you’re walking and talking with an infant or pre-talker, practice leaving a little time for their future input, and then ramble on. “Oh, I hear some rustling in that bush.”
Talking with your child is a critical step toward raising a strong reader. A lovely, leisurely stroll will put you both on the right path.