I simply must share this article (of the same title as this post) by Marlene Barron in Montessori International magazine.
‘Doing books’ occurs when young children who do not know how to actually ‘read’ share books with their classmates by browsing the book, flipping the pages and discussing about the pictures, or in other ways that seem like they are reading the book.
The benefits of this activity:
- increase in vocabulary
- enhanced proficiency with oral language (relate characters and events to their personal experiences)
- increase understanding of the conventions of print (notice the other person’s eye movements when turning pages and discussing the pictures —> introduction of directionality of print and the fact that print is what is read.)
- development of positive attitudes towards reading and writing
How can practitioners encourage ‘doing books‘ in class:
- Flood your classroom with books. Place books everywhere: block area, science area, thematic playing area, art area and toilet areas.
- Consider each transition (arrival time, playground, lunch, nap time, dismissal)as an opportunity for children to do books with each other .
- Allowing books to lie about in an orderly fashioned way.
Observe and record how children interact with each other when doing books. Their topic of conversations could be your topic for teaching/thematic lessons.
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