Our family recently went to the zoo and got to feed the giraffes. We have been to places before where we got to hold buckets to feed the giraffes, but this time we got to hold banana pieces in our hands for the giraffes to eat. My little one says the giraffe spit her banana out because he did not like it (She actually pulled her hand back when the giraffe's tongue got close to touching her).
Based on our recent experience and the fact her favorite animal right now is the giraffe, I think that topic could provide a good "literacy hook" right now.
She has been drawing pictures of giraffes recently, so maybe now it is time for her to do some writing to go along with those pictures. I don't have to ask her to write a lot ... just words and phrases to start with. Hopefully those small steps will lead to longer writings in the future.
I think another way to encourage her writing about these pictures is to have books about giraffes available to read and look at. A nice blend of fiction and nonfiction should work well to show the importance of both facts and descriptive language.
Lucky for me that Big Universe Learning has some great books for us to start with:
- Critters up Close! ~ Giraffes from ZooBooks provides simple ways to describe the various actions of these magnificent animals (and my daughter in Kindergarten can read most of it on her own ... build some confidence).
- The Giraffe who was Afraid of Heights from Sylvan Dell is a great story about overcoming fears, but it also has some fun facts and puzzles included. (This story is also available in Spanish.)
- 'Twas the Day Before Zoo Day from Sylvan Dell is about things not going exactly according to plan and might be another fun one to include, especially since there are drooling giraffes!
I think that as both a parent and teacher, I can use the experiences children have to encourage and support literacy development.