As we celebrated World Book Day last month with the children at school, we were reminded of the potential for a great story to not only encourage imagination and allow children to escape but also, to help them process what is going on around them – growing up, relationships and yes, even a pandemic.
In the wider world, World Book Day 2021 was different, with all sorts of activities, challenges and interactive storytelling and illustrating happening online – available all year round at Worldbookday.com!
At St Andrew’s, we were engrossed in Julia Donaldson’s “The Troll”; a story about a troll who longs for a juicy goat to eat but is stuck with boring old fish for supper. Meanwhile, Hank Chief and his pirate crew love fish but without a decent recipe their slimy, soggy dinner is even worse than troll’s. If only they could find their buried treasure and pay for a ship’s cook…but it seems they’ve sailed to the wrong island. Again.
The children laughed out loud as the two worlds (troll and pirate) collided and created some fabulous troll and pirate inspired art.
Maria Montessori believed that the sensitive period for language development is between birth and age six. In other words, it’s never too early to start with stories! Whilst reading out loud might not come naturally to everyone, confidence comes with practice. Here are a couple of top tips:
- Read with lots of expression and change your pace according to the tone of the tale – children love the drama and inflection.
- If your little one is struggling to sit still, kinaesthetic activity usually helps with active, attentive listening. Children in a Montessori classroom sometimes colour, draw or sew quietly while being read to aloud. This keeps their hands busy and their minds alert.
We also encourage older children to read aloud to the younger ones.
Although we celebrate books on one special day a year, really; they are celebrated every day in our classrooms and homes when we read to our children and inspire them to think and dream.