Monday, April 5, 2010

Wordless Books: What Good are They?

There are people at universities who study all sorts of things and provide scholarly sounding terms for their students to learn. The terms enable those in the field to have a standard vocabulary to discuss their field. To the rest of us, it is jargon.

In Early Childhood education, seven different areas have been identified as important steps toward Early Literacy. As my own early childhood was a long time ago, I didn't fully appreciate some of those steps when I was first told them recently.

One of the steps involves being able to tell a story. So, Jack and Jill did three things. Jill fell down. Jack fell down. They went up a hill. Now, most of us know this English nursery rhyme. We know I just put those events in the wrong order. A person learning to read needs to be able to tell a story and put the events in the right order.

The only words in this book are on the cover. The story is told by the pictures. Any words you put to them are up to you the reader. These stories can be told in any language. They can be shared by readers and non-readers. They can be used to get people to write their own words to the story. Would a child of five put in the same level of detail as a middle-school student?

The book pictured is one of the books that will be available at the sale starting April 29. Our room with children's books always has someone staffing it who can direct you towards items of interest to you. It can be a pretty popular place with shoppers, so strollers must be parked in the lobby. The Fire Marshall tells us that the strollers in the room are a safety concern.

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