What children need to know about reading and writing before they can read or write is called early literacy.
As your child’s caregiver, you are their first teacher. The greatest amount of brain growth occurs between birth and age five, a time your child spends with you. By age three, 85% of the brain’s core structure is formed. As a child ages, the brain gets rid of weaker synaptic connections in favor of stronger ones. We can improve the strength of synaptic connections with experiences that reinforce learning that has already occurred.
In our Building Blocks to Early Literacy series, we will share early literacy tips for you to do at home to help your child get ready to learn to read.
Today’s Early Literacy Tip is: Act out the story as you read it
For some of us there is nothing better than having a story read to you. For others however, a story doesn’t get any better than when it’s up on it’s feet and acted out, and the more expressive the acting and characters the better. This is especially true for young children just starting their journey toward literacy. Why indulge just one of your senses when you can engage all five of them?
Acting out the story makes the reading experience more interactive and engaging for the child. This helps them better retain the story and the characters. This retention is a key element when they start reading the story on their own. You may even find your child making some of the same gestures and expressions that they saw and remember when you acted it out for them.
Acting out a story is a great way to encourage early literacy, just remember to be creative and have a lot of fun!
Make sure and choose material that lends itself to this type of acting out. Books with lots of action, gestures and noises are perfect, anything that encourages them to move around. Repetition of noise or rhyming phrases is also great for the younger ones. Some books and writers to consider are listed below: