Notice the words and the sounds

My five year old came home from school talking about Dr. Seuss. I suggested that we read a Dr. Seuss book for our bedtime story tonight. Madalyn pulled every Dr. Seuss book off the shelf (I realized that we have a lot and double copies of some of them …. I think I have even more in my “school books” in the basement). The book she finally chose was a collection of Seuss Stories that includes versions of several of the books and some commentary/history.

New bookshelfThe “teacher in me” wanted to select one of the not-so-well-known stories, but the “parent in me” let my daughter choose the one she wanted … Green Eggs and Ham.

As I began to read the story to her, I noticed that many of the words in the story were some of the same “word wall words” we have been practicing for her homework. So I started reading most of the sentence and then pointing to the word for her to say. The more words she said, the more confident she became. She even pointed to some of the words ahead and asked if I would let her read those words.

At first, I thought Madalyn might be saying the words from memory (she has an extremely good memory) but I realized she was really looking at the words when she pointed out that box and fox both have -ox at the end. When house was at the end of one line and mouse was at the end of the next line, she also pointed out that they both has -se at the end and then noticed they also had -ou, so they both ended in -ouse.

When we got to the end of the story, Madalyn looked up at me saying, “This is a cute story.” She was involved in the story and interested in the words. Her interest in words makes me smile … as a former reading and writing teacher, I wonder what I can do to encourage and support that interest in words …

There is such a wealth of materials for reading and writing available on this site, so what are some ways we can use Big Universe Learning to encourage and support an interest in words?

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