Updated: Nov 12, 2022
I have discovered that the lightpad is another tool to get avid and reluctant readers to engage with books and storytelling. The children are drawn to the ‘magic’ of the light and the items they put on it.
BUT with my passion for storytelling and early literacy I soon found I was using it as an extension to books and story baskets that the children were interested in.
I have used the lightpad for Christmas books to classics and ones that support friendships and community.
Christmas this year has all about the beard and the book have yourself a HAIRY little Christmas was the source. This little texture book was used to support play and the holiday in so many ways (BLOG) but decorating Santa’s beard on the lightpad was one of the most popular! The children wanted to try different items each day on the lightpad and they talked about the items properties from being see through or opaque and how some items worked better than others.
I added a rhyme about Santa’s beard to go with the light pad:
I know a man with a long white beard And Santa is his name-o. S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, And Santa is his name-o. He slides down the chimney with a pack on his back, And Santa is his name-o. S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, And Santa is his name-o. Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh, And Santa is his name-o. S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, And Santa is his name-o.
The colour monster is popular with children and a firm favourite for me to support social and emotional growth and practices. I have used it many times in a story basket with my e-pattern and it was easy enough to create an invitation for the lightpad. I used the story basket resources as a support the first time with jars to fill with magnet chips and remove with a magnet wand. The children enjoyed matching and talking about the feelings the colours could represent. The next time I copied a monster onto tracing or transparency paper and the children made a colour monster with the magnet chips. I added wobbly eyes and black wool for eyebrows or hair.
10 apples up on top was an idea during our storybasketeers membership month on Dr Suess. The children loved balancing and the lightpad was used to extend on this. I simply fond an image, enlarged it and added magnet chips and a wand. The story was retold and talk about ‘showing off’ and sharing was a highlight. I just got some translucent numbers and will use these in 2022.
The rainbow fish is another e-pattern we use often in story baskets and small world play. Finding a plastic fish dish was a happy dance find! Because a lightpad is so light and transportable I used it at story time to retell the story and the children participated in the storytelling by getting a magnetic chip which represented the colourful scales shared. I put it out on a table afterwards for children to use. What was interesting is that children took turns being the ‘teacher’ and sharing the magnetic chips or scales with others just as I did.
Dog’s colourful day is a story about and adventurous dog who gets colourful spots on its fur from the adventures it goes on. This was a quick and easy play and story opportunity to create with transparency paper and a photocopier. This and may of the images used here are in my group Exploring why I teach.ec. Again, the magnet chips and the children added the colours as the retold the story… green for grass… red for ketchup… etc.
The whale who wanted more is a fabulous story about a whale who thought that treasure would make him feel complete and so he collected more than his share. This act made it difficult for his undersea community and in the end he found the friendship was more important than the treasures and trinkets he had been collecting. A whale was photocopied on transparency paper again but this time more was needed to represent the treasure and trinkets. I found a treasure chest and talked to the children about the treasure they find and the beach and rivers and if they take them away with them. I know I do and this book made me think about my own actions and impact it has on the environment. To this invitation to play I added translucent gems, metal clock wheels, beads, plastic sea creatures, wooden fish and onion netting. The items were less see through that other lightpad invitations but this did not seem to worry the children who wanted to add other items like driftwood and ‘rubbish’ found in the sea.
The name jar is a book that explores identity, culture and inclusion. A child has a Chines name that others struggle to say and it is suggested she picks a new name, as western one. The class add names to a jar as suggestions but her friend adds her given name and she decides that is what she wishes to be called. I simply used the same jar from the colour monster invitation and typed names out to be added. Later in the day children wrote their own names on paper and added them to the lightpad.
I am looking forward to a lightpad literacy full 2022 and can’t wait see what interests the children have and where they take us using the lightpad.
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