When the temperatures drop outside, it’s a perfect time to snuggle up with a blanket and a good book. During a recent workshop, Dr. Sharon Brown, Cleveland Schools Book Fund executive director, shared “snow day reading” tips and resources for emerging readers with over one hundred Cleveland Metropolitan School District early childhood teachers.
Each workshop participant also received a classroom set of the books listed below and paperback copies for students’ home library building. CMSD teachers (PreK – 4th grade), visit our contact page to learn how to submit a book report and request copies of these books for your students.
Importance of Picture Books in Early Childhood
- Introduces the concept and process of reading
- Creates connections and encourages communications
- Strengthens visual thinking skills – connections between the visual illustrations and words
- Introduces art – children’s literature contains a variety of art styles
- Help children become better listeners and questioners
- Learn through the behavior and actions of the characters
- Build vocabulary
- Explore differences and challenging topics in a safe space
Early Childhood Learning and Finger Play
What the research says about finger plays . . .
- Engagement – Finger plays stimulate auditory, visual, and tactile senses. Finger plays are also a form of kinesthetic learning, as the students are encouraged to enjoy movement while participating.
- Imagination – The movements of finger play imitate the actions of the words, encouraging a child to use their imagination.
- Motor Skills – Preschoolers must practice developing fine and gross motor skills. Finger play movements strengthen fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and some gross motor skills and balance.
Books to Share with Early Childhood Students
So Much Snow by Kristen Schroeder
Watch the snow fall and get deeper and deeper. The animals in the forest slowly are hidden by the increasing snow . . . Deeper and deeper it gets until the animals can not be seen!
Then it warms up … and the animals reappear! This is a fun book that incorporates the concepts of the relative size of the animals, picture searches, covering/subtracting the animals, and adding back the animals. Science concepts such as snow melting, winter snowstorms, etc., can also be shared.
The Giving Snowman by Julia Zheng
Similar to the Giving Tree, the Giving Snowman is a story that focuses on acts of kindness and caring. The snowman helps out a series of friends who are in trouble. Later, when the sun comes out and begins to melt the snowman, the friends return to help rebuild the snowman. The book is about acts of kindness, giving, and returning that kindness when you can.
This book highlights kindness and problem-solving. It also looks at the needs of the friends and, ultimately, the needs of the snowman (science).