My story of the week is a little early this week as it happens to relate to today’s prompt: connections. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity! If you are new to my weekly feature you need to know that each week on simply.cindy I feature a story I have read recently to my preschool class and discuss ideas for helping the children make connections with the story.
What really impresses me about this story is Barbara Reid’s plasticine technique for the illustrations. When I think about the time it must have taken for her to create each one I am totally awed by the amount of work and artistry that has gone into this picture book.
If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, then you know that my current group of preschoolers is really interested in birds. Check out Boys Being Boys (and Birds) and It’s All Coming Together! for more about the interest in birds that has been showing up in their imaginative play.
Fortunately for us, our preschool is close to a bird sanctuary. We are not really within walking distance but it is just a short drive away. So to help the children make a connection with the story, we went to visit the bird sanctuary, took a walk along the trail, and stopped along the way to read this story by Joanne Oppenheim and Barbara Reid. While I read the story I stopped a couple of times to point out birds that were flying past and to listen to their songs. There could not have been a more perfect place to read the story. And we actually saw some Canadian Geese, Mallards and at least one Blue Heron.
Why do I focus on making connections with stories I read to preschoolers? Because making these connections helps children gain a deeper understanding of the story.
It was easy to help children make connections with the story while reading at the bird sanctuary. If you are not near a bird sanctuary reading the story outdoors in the spring time would be another great option.
The plasticine illustrations really lend themselves well to making connections. Reading the story and then giving children some coloured plasticine to work with would reinforce comprehension.
We also have a collection of “nest making materials” at our beautiful arrangements table along with some lovely laminated photos of birds. These additional materials further support and extend their play and learning.