Dr Seuss is famous for his rhyming BUT we discovered much more in a few of his books in May.
There was early literacy, literacy, early maths, gross motor or balancing and STEM with the books I used so far. The main focus was on early literacy and how to incorporate it into any early childhood setting and story baskets..
The focus came for this month’s pattern Green Eggs and Ham which was suggested by a Storybasketeer and there was 10 apples up on top and Horton hatches the egg. I have a couple of others that we may explore as it is only the middle of May.
Do you have a favourite Dr Seuss book? Have you brought one to life in a story basket?
It took me some time to create the pattern for this story basket as there are so many possible items to support the rhyming! BUT I was surprised to discover that there are only 50 words used in the book. I decided to run with there only being 50 words and focus on providing a rich literacy environment without ‘teaching’ reading.
As I was so focused on the 10 nouns and items in the book, I overlooked SAM-I-AM. Should he and the unnamed other character be felt or peg dolls. I asked my storybasketeers and the poll was even, so I went with peg dolls and I had a great idea on how to inject literacy!!
SAM-I-AM is written on the peg doll, like the sign carried by SAM-I-AM in the book. I normally use blank or food coloured peg dolls so the writing was notice straight away by the children. Some children could read Sam and others asked. I will now think about how to include other words on peg dolls in future story baskets.
I provided the 50 words as cards in the pattern and initially I did not put out the cards as I wanted the story basket to be open to the children bringing it to life first. After two days I added the cards and some children loved playing with them as they retold the story and others used them to play with 'words' and rhyme. But the interest in the cards was mixed until the second day they were out. I saw a child who is engaged in positional schema put all the cards out in lines and then another 2 came along and used the book to put the words ‘in order’. I was fizzing to see this and how they could be used in different ways without direction.
In storybaskteeers we also explored other ways to create print and literacy rich environments in an early childhood environment. What is the difference between early literacy and literacy? Literacy is where symbols are used to read and write and early literacy is recognising print, letters, sounds, learning vocabulary and wanting to look at books.
I shared some of the ways I have done this over the years, with signs, magnetic letters and a cookie tray, buying items with words on them (using boxes), alphabet roads, tape, stamping words on wood and making little books for and with children.
10 apples up on top was a great book to explore early maths and counting. This book sparked an interest in balancing items on heads. The children were daring and tried a number of objects with and without success. They discovered that round objects like balls were harder than the book showed and that flat items worked much better. The felt apples were great for positional schema and I often found the apples lined up (30 of them) and as Mr positional would say, sometimes shout ‘lined all up’.
The interest in balancing lead nicely onto Horton Hatches the egg. This story basket was quick and easy to put together. In fact I did a 'story basket on the fly' video for storybasketeers for it. The children used sticks and tried different nests to balance the elephant and egg. Language was rich and the problem solving and co-construction was impressive!
Can’t wait till the end of May to see the finished story baskets and hear about sharing them.
Until next time.
P.S. I have made the 7 day challenge into a mini-course, now you can learn my secrets and make and share a story basket after 7 lessons. With the BONUS of JOINING all upcoming LIVE 7 day challenges for FREE.