The Old North End Farmer’s Market

The Old North End Farmers Market at Dewey Park in Burlington happens every Tuesday at 3pm! Erinn and Holly (BCS Food Intern) have been walking to the market and collecting our harvest using our community shared agricultural grant money. We receive a share of baby spinach and a variety of produce every week. We use this produce to make healthy school lunches and send home extras with families! We also invite families to join to attend the market with us, feel free to tag along!

Taste Tests – June Recipes

We have added a weekly taste test at BCS! Every Thursday afternoon, Erinn and Holly (BCS food intern) create a treat for the children and families to try at pick up. So far this summer we have made a mango-peach-banana smoothie, blueberry muffins, kale chips, and zucchini bread (with local zucchini from the farmer’s market!) – all of which were hits! The purpose of these taste tests is to get children interested in trying new foods in an exciting way!

Week one: Peach-Mango-Banana-Strawberry Smoothie: (link: allrecipes.com

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of frozen or fresh peaches 
  • 1 cup of frozen or fresh mango 
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt 
  • 1 cup of ice 
  • ½ of a banana 
  • ½ cup strawberry 

Week two: Blueberry Muffin! Perfect for summer time (link: NYTimes Cooking

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup softened butter 
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups flour 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries, washed (frozen works as well) (blueberries are nice and ripe during the summer months and can be found at all grocery stores)

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Cream the butter and 1 ¼ cups sugar until light 
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla 
  4. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk 
  5. Crush ½ cup  blueberries with a fork, and mix into the batter. (Toss the berries in flour before adding, to keep them from sinking from the base of the muffin). Fold the remaining whole berries 
  6. Line a 12 cup standard muffin tin with the cupcake liners, and fill with batter. Sprinkle the 3 teaspoons of sugar over the tops of the muffins, and bake at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes. 
  7. Remove the muffins from the tin and cool for at least 30 minutes. Store, uncovered, or the muffins will be too moist the second day

Week three: Kale Chips (link: food network

Ingredients:

  • 1 small bunch of kale
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Tear the kale into pieces, then wash and thoroughly dry it. Toss it in the olive oil and seasonings. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake it at 350°F (175°C) for 10–12 minutes. Watch the oven carefully, as the kale can quickly burn.

Week four: Zucchini bread (link: all recipes

(made with Digger’s Market Zucchini from the local farmer’s market in the Old North End on Tuesday’s! Ask Holly, Erinn, or Sarah for more information about this market!) 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil 
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar 
  • 3 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups grated zucchini 
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts 

Steps: 

  1. Grease and flour two 8×4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F 
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl 
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans 
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool 

Makes about 24 servings. 

Bonus: Pesto (nut free) (link: the Mom 100

Made with local basil from Digger’s Market! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves 
  • ⅓ cup olive oil or more as needed 
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste 
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese 
  • Kosher salt as needed 

Steps:

  1. Place the garlic and basil in a food processor or blender and pulse until everything is roughly chopped. Add the oil and paper and process, scraping down the sides, part way through, until everything is well blended. If it is very thick, add a bit more olive oil
  2. Add the cheese and pulse until blended in. taste and add salt, if needed. 

Skin Tone Exploration: an Integrative Study of Community

The preschool has been exploring the concept of community through the lens of Rights and Responsibilities.  We discuss and study the rights of ALL community members and the responsibilities associated with protecting those rights for everyone in our communities.  This requires a deeper understanding of the many similarities and differences that are inherently human to promote an appreciation of our uniqueness and the beauty of the diversity of humanity and the natural world around us.   As children explore the concept of self and others, they develop understanding of similarities and differences in conjunction with shared experiences with others in our communities.

Skin tone is one of the more overt attributes of an individual’s outward appearance and one of the first characteristics we notice about a person.  Unfortunately, it is also closely related to how people are viewed, treated and their access to resources in our society.  This makes skin tone exploration imperative to the discussion of community and the creation of a classroom culture centered around rights and responsibilities.  We aim to inform and influence how children learn and interact with each of their various communities and support a deeper understanding of humanity and our responsibilities to self and community.

We  approach exploration of our skin tones through literature, discussions of melanin ( the chemical that gives our skin its shade), geography of our ancestors & human migration and the use of  skin tone art materials (crayons, colored pencils, markers and watercolor paints) to represent our skin tones.

 Preschoolers explore the skin tone art materials, provided with mirrors for reference and self reflection.  Their initial experience tends to include many of the tones. They make observations about people they know with skin tone the shade of the markers, crayons,and colored pencils. 

 They hold skin close to their peers’ and teachers’ skin and make comparisons “My skin is darker than yours.”  Armed with the knowledge of the chemical melanin and its role in our skin tone,  they  say, “ You have a lot of active melanin.”,  “I know why your skin is darker than mine.  You have more melanin.”

They make discoveries about societal names for skin tones. “I’m black.  This {pencil} is brown.  It matches.”  “Hey, Im white but this white doesn’t match, not even my belly.”   This reinforces the many variations in skin tone and the fact that we all have some melanin.  They are beginning to experience the shortcomings/ inaccuracy of labels.

 As they work we hear:  “ I love this color brown.  I wish it was mine,“” I’m all these colors and purple” .    When children experiment with the skin tone art materials , working side by side and sharing their observations and discoveries it reinforces the idea that the skin tone is a single attribute of a person.  This becomes one shared experience they have with their friends and teachers along with many other positive shared experiences. Children learn that we can not be diminished to a single attribute, characteristic or aspect.  ‘My friend… likes to paint and has … skin tone.’

Leo tests skin tone crayons to his belly
He confirms his closest match on his hand

Samples of the preschoolers’ initial exploration with the materials:

Children begin to create a match for their skin tone after they are familiar with the materials and the numerous represented shades offered in the materials.  They use mirrors for reference place their hand on the paper for reference.  Most  discover that they are unable to create a match using a single shade in any of the mediums. This involves a process of experimentation; comparing our skin to the marks, layering shades, accepting a match, recognizing the shades used to create our match and eventually name their skin tone recipe. 

 

Children explore with the skin tone art materials many times. During this process they make discoveries about self and others. Children learn that our characteristics cannot be defined or simplified to a single label or product created by others meant to represent us. Therefore labels created by society cannot diminish our rights, determine our value, or be justification to limit our access to resources.

The need to layer multiple tones to create our match illustrates the role of  our ancestors in determining our skin tone.  It is evidence of  human migration out of the fertile crescent in Africa indicating that our ancestors all  had darker skin tone at one point if you go back far enough.  Our skin tone  is influenced by where and how far away from the equator our ancestors lived.

June 12th Activity Bundle

ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES

fahmida azim for npr

Fahmida Azim for NPR

SKIN TONE ACTIVITIES

BY MELISSA

Exploration of skin tone is an important early step in understanding differences and dispelling the idea of value based on the color of our skin. We must start very early to explicitly teach children that skin color is simply pigmentation and does not indicate personal specifics about individuals.  BCS starts teaching this in the infant room.

Children learn that our skin tone is determined by the amount and how active melanin is in our bodies. They learn that melanin is simply a chemical that helps protect skin from the effects of the sun and that an individual’s melanin is determined by two factors:  how close they live to the hottest part of the earth (equator) and the melanin of their ancestors.

When investigation into skin tone happens at an early age children learn to understand the biology of skin color and the wide variation in skin tones.  When explored in a group of peers with whom they have positive relationships, it reinforces understanding that skin color is simply an attribute and does not determine one’s value.  

Blue Preschoolers create their skin tone recipe using skin tone watercolors. They mix watercolors, to match their skin tone, keeping track of which colors they used in their recipe.  They then name their skin tone color. It is always wonderful and enlightening when children realize that rarely can their skin tone be represented by one color. 

Here is a reading of book introducing the variety of shades within humans:

SHADES OF PEOPLE BY SHEILA M. KELLY & SHELLEY ROTNER

READ BY MELISSA

 

There are ways to explore our skin tones at home without specifically marketed skin tone art materials. 

Skin Tone Exploration Search

Search for items around or home or in nature that match your skin tone.  Place your hand or another body part up against items and see if you can find matches.

Questions: 

  • Can you think of objects that might match your skin tone? 
  • How close is the match? 
  • What color(s) do you see in your skin? 
  • If this doesn’t match what are you thinking about where to search next? 
  • How would you describe the colors of this match?

SHADES OF BLACK BY SANDRA PINKNEY

READ BY MELISSA

 

Skin Tone Recipe

Use sets of crayons or colored pencils that have a variation of colors found in skin tones (browns, tans, golds, oranges, reds, yellows, peaches). 

  • Start making light marks on paper, checking the mark with your skin with each addition for a match
  • Determine which color should be added next to to get a closer match
  • Layers colors on top of each other
  • Keep track of the colors you used to create your skin tone match
  • Name your skin tone.

VELS:

All ages:  
DEVELOPING SELF – SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT: SELF AWARENESS Goal 1: Children demonstrate an awareness of own personal characteristics, skills and abilities
LEARNING ABOUT THE WORLD-COGNITIVE: INQUIRY Goal 1: Children make sense of the world around them by actively gathering and interpreting information.
LEARNING ABOUT THE WORLD – SOCIAL STUDIES: FAMILY AND COMMUNITY – PHYSICS, GOVERNMENT AND SOCIETY Goal 1: Children identify themselves initially as belonging to a family, a group and a community; eventually they develop awareness of themselves as members of increasingly wider circles of society and learn the skills needed to be a contributing member of society. 3.Explore the similarities and differences among people 
READING – ENGAGING WITH LITERATURE AND INFORMATIONAL TEXT Goal 1: Children develop “book language” and demonstrate comprehension 3.Make connections between stories and real-life experiences
Toddlers and Preschoolers:
COMMUNICATION AND EXPRESSION – CREATIVE ARTS AND EXPRESSION :VISUAL ARTS Goal 1: Children create art using a variety of tools and art media to express their ideas, feelings, creativity; and develop appreciation of the art created by others. 1. Create artistic works through an open-ended process that reflect thoughts, feelings, experiences, or knowledge

SESAME STREET “COMING TOGETHER” TOWN HALL

STANDING UP TO RACISM

Part I: How to Explain Racism to Kids

Part II: Abby Cadabby Shares a Personal Story

Part III: Viral Child Starts Reunite

Follow the link below for all the videos:

Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism

 

 

June 11th Activity Bundle

ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES

talk

ANTI-BIAS CURRICULUM

BY KAT

“It has been said that actions more often than not speak louder than words. And if this is so in the case of child-rearing, then we must be especially vigilant in our actions to shape the values children will attach as they learn about people in their world. If we don’t, they will learn by default the messages that are already prevalent out there and both we and they will contribute to perpetuating past ideas which we do not want to replicate in our children’s future.”

Carol Brunson Phillips (1987)

What is it?

A shift from past theories of ‘multiculturalism’ to embedding practices of awareness, information, development of empathy, critical thinking, and activism, in current curriculum and everyday conversations.

 

Why is it important?

Spoken and unspoken messages are influencing children today/here and now. By empowering children with information we will counteract the influence of harmful messages such as racism, sexism, classism, ablism, and general discrimination.

 

What is the goal?

To help each individual develop an authentic identity, as well as, build a caring, just, and diverse community for all.

To build awareness, empathy and comfort with people beyond each child’s immediate environment. We are showing each child they are valued without upholding white culture, heteronormative values, gendered roles, ableist and classist norms. 

 

Where is it in our classroom and where could you include it in your home?

Self Observations and Discussion

Categorizing at this age is developmentally appropriate, children notice how others differ from themselves and their family. We steer away from supporting social constructs and stereotypes by having intentional discussions about our differences and similarities. 

With this curriculum we aim to normalize conversations about skin color, therefore reducing shame around race for individuals and families of color, as well as, white individuals and families. This openness allows children to be scientists making observations about their bodies, society and freedom to ask questions.

Reducing stigma brings increased recognition of unfair treatment and biases in individuals’ lives.

 

Literacy

Often stereotypes come from a singular storyline. We loosen the hold of these messages by reading a multitude of books that offer many different sides to storylines that uphold non inclusive or untrue social norms.

Literacy allows children to access situations, feelings and topics that might not be present in their everyday life. It is a means to study how others live, giving context to inaccessible experiences, growing students’ knowledge of the world and laying a foundation for relating to others.

We return to stories over and over, asking our students open ended questions, recording and presenting their ideas to the group. This not only develops, but also encourages critical thinking skills while showing our students they are valued thinkers.

Book List

Storytelling

When students tell stories they become creators, collaborators and learners.

Our variety of therapeutic storytelling builds authentic self identities of children. We discuss each individual’s wants and needs, opening dialogue around how each person wants to be treated by peers and teachers. This acknowledgement of each person’s validity grows self awareness, self esteem as well as empathy for others despite differences.

Through storytelling we practice skills such as direct communication, compassion, consent, rejection, compromise, listening, asking questions, patience, acceptance and unconditional positive regard. 

The simple act of sharing lays a foundation for standing up for oneself and others. When we feel heard, we learn to speak up, becoming active members of our community.

This skill is unbelievably important in a society where often there is silence.

Modeling and encouraging the practice of listening creates a path for both those who speak, to know they can be heard, as well as for those who listen, to respect and find value in the words of others.

We are advocating for children now, seeing them as people not just as someone that will grow up into a person.

 

Resources for parents:

30 Day Anti-Racist Challenge

June 10th Activity Bundle

ANTI-RACIST RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES

love hollie friot

Resources for Parents:

How to Talk to Your Kid About Race, Racism and Police Violence

How to Talk to Your Kid About Race and Justice

Why All Parents Should Talk to Their Kids About Social Identity

cheat sheet

LIFE DOESN’T FRIGHTEN ME BY MAYA ANGELOU

READ BY NATALIE

BEIN’ WITH YOU THIS WAY BY W. NIKOLA-LISA

This is a great book about bodies and what we notice about our bodies and the bodies of others!  It recognizes on EACH page that we notice differences and that those may seem strange but are really variations in our physical bodies.  The book celebrates diversity of our bodies and acknowledges that we are a community of unique individuals.

This is an important book;  I like to start reading it very early so that children are familiar with it and can even participate as we explicitly teach that the physical aspects of our body do not determine value.   This is especially crucial in our society which  values some over others based on features of our bodies and sends so many value messages what is most desirable/valuable in regards to physical attributes including skin tone, height, hair color, fitness level, functionality of our bodies, and so many more!

 

VELS:

All ages:  
DEVELOPING SELF – SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT: SELF AWARENESS Goal 1: Children demonstrate an awareness of own personal characteristics, skills and abilities
LEARNING ABOUT THE WORLD-COGNITIVE: INQUIRY Goal 1: Children make sense of the world around them by actively gathering and interpreting information.
READING – ENGAGING WITH LITERATURE AND INFORMATIONAL TEXT Goal 1: Children develop “book language” and demonstrate comprehension 3.Make connections between stories and real-life experiences

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK LEADS THE WAY BY ALICE SCHERTLE

READ BY LAUREN B.

 

 

June 9th Activity Bundle

Note from Natalie:

Hello friends and community members,

I wanted to let you all know that this will be our last week of blog posts, ending on Friday, June 12th. I wanted to personally say it has been a privilege to be the editor of this blog and a contributor to the curriculum content. Everyone who helped create the curricula for the blog managed to successfully put out 75 blog posts since March, not skipping a single school day.

I wanted to say that I am so proud of my fellow educators for being able to pivot to online learning within 48 hours of learning that we would be closed and not missing a beat over the past three months. On top of that, we created beautiful, engaging and inspiring curricula for families to do at home!

Don’t forget that you can visit past posts and revisit and reimagine any of the curriculum we have provided for you thus far. Thank you so much to everyone who read our posts and supported us through this time; this work would mean nothing without all of our students and their families.

Have a wonderful summer! ❤

Love, Natalie

ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES

All-Are-Welcome_Penfold_Kaufman

Illustration from All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman

SYSTEMIC RACISM EXPLAINED

Resources for Parents:

Emma’s Resources

  • Skin Color Map & Values Map, Language Resources and more.

Embrace Race

  • Includes articles like: “Reading Race in Picture Books with Kids,” “Why are All the White Dolls Sitting Together on the Target Shelf,” “Your 5 Year Old is Already Racially Biased” and many more.

Raising Race Conscious Children

  • Includes articles like: “Corona Virus Gave Us Time to Explore Why #representationmatters,” “Reading Race: Pro-Active Conversations with Young Children” and more.

 

“POWER MEANS WHO THE POLICE BELIEVE”

A GRAPHIC NOVEL FOR CHILDREN

BY EMMA

Part I

Part II

EVERY LITTLE THING BY CEDELLA MARLEY

This is a book written by Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella, based on his song “Three Little Birds.”

June 8th Activity Bundle

ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES

In light of what’s happening in America, we felt it was important to shift the focus of our blog to share dismantling racism materials for children and parents. BCS teachers engage with this work and these materials in our classrooms and online learning has made that harder to do. But we know that BCS parents have been doing an amazing job educating and supporting their child’s learning and development over the past three months. So we thought we would arm you with the most useful resources we have found.

We encourage parents to explore the parent resources first so when their children listen to the stories we have included, you will be better prepared for the conversations with your child after. These conversations might be uncomfortable, but your children are capable of having them and they are very important.

“Tell the truth, to yourself first, and to the children. Live in the present. Don’t deny the past… And know that the charge on you is to make this country more than it is today.”

-Maya Angelou

race by la johnson

LA Johnson/NPR

HOW TO START TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT RACE

BY KAT

Categorizing at this age is developmentally appropriate and a great opportunity for parents to acknowledge what their child notices, and to discuss why the world looks that way.  This opportunity it two-fold:  responding and initiating.

Initiating. Categorizing (this includes race) is happening in infants as early as six-months and continues to be an important part of development for children up to 5 (and some of these can stick well beyond that age).  When you, the parent, point out skin color, you are having a developmentally appropriate conversation with your child.  By starting the conversation you are telling your child this is safe to talk about, what they notice is real and important.

Responding. For white parents, this can bring up feelings that you are ‘not ready’ to engage with your child’s inquiry around race.  Thoughts like “what if I don’t say the right thing?” or “I don’t know how to talk about this with my kid” can come up.  All learning starts with open conversations.  If you didn’t know about a type of bug or the answer to “why is the sky blue” you would figure it out and share your answers with your kiddo.  It is the same mentality when talking about race (however the impacts are very different and serious).  It’s okay to say “I don’t know how to answer that right now, but I love your question!  I am going to do some thinking/research/look it up, and we can talk/learn/find out together”.  Harm is done by deflecting or shaming (saying it’s not appropriate, not the right/good time to talk, not coming back to the topic, shushing a child in public) the topic.

Here is a great quick but thorough article for parents who want more information on the research around it Children are Not Colorblind by Erin Winkler (I know some families have seen this already, still a good reminder!)

 Resources for Parents:

How White Parents Can Talk About Race

Talking Race with Young Children

Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race

 

WHOEVER YOU ARE BY MEM FOX

READ BY NATALIE

PLAYLIST OF STORIES ABOUT RACISM FOR CHILDREN

When one story ends, the next story should automatically play. There are 33 stories in this playlist.

Download your own PDF copy of “Not My Idea” by Anastasia Higginbotham here:

Free Download: “Not My Idea”

*Bonus Bundle*

HELPING YOUR CHILD THROUGH FEAR

BY THE OLD TODDLER TEAM

This week, we thought we would address a topic common to most children at some point. That is the fear of monsters, especially at night.  There are many articles and websites that address this issue. There is even a popular movie (Monster’s Inc.) that looks at this from the monster’s viewpoint.

These fears usually rear their heads at bedtime or when your child awakes in the night and they can be hard to alleviate. Some of this can be rooted in a fear of the dark. Bedtime should be a special and memorable part of a little one’s day, but if your child is afraid of monsters or boogeymen or has bad dreams or nightmares, it can be anything but.  For some kids, when it’s time to turn out the light and say goodnight, fear and anxiety set in, turning bedtime routine into a bedtime battle that’s a stressful experience for the entire family.

“I have clear memories of jumping from the door to the bed so that the monster under there did not grab my feet. My father had to inspect the closet every night and make sure the door was firmly closed before I would go to sleep.”

-Heidi

Here is a video of one book that looks at nightmares read by Mercer Mayer, the author of the story.

There are many ways to attempt to solve this problem for you and your family. We liked the image below.

image.png

Worry Monsters:

One activity is to draw a picture or make another representation of your child’s worry monster. They can draw their own, or you can help them by drawing what they describe.  You can role play about your child’s fears and talk to the worry monster about them. The more we talk about those fears, the less power they have!

image.png

JONATHAN JAMES AND THE WHATIF MONSTER BY MICHELLE NELSON-SCHMIDT

READ BY LAUREN

 

June 5th Activity Bundle

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!

HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR CHILD

BY MELISSA

Exposure to books is one of the most important factors in development of vocabulary and learning to read which becomes the basis for learning in school.  One public school teacher put it this way:  ‘ In kindergarten to third grade children learn to read, from 4th grade on they read to learn’.  Some kids just don’t love books; they don’t gravitate to them, would rarely choose them on their own and it’s even hard to keep their attention when a favorite adult reads to them.

Here is some information about types of books to help engage your child and promote a love of books:

Song Stories

Picture books that are songs draw children in initially with music.  Children will often join in singing a familiar song.  The purpose of the book is to provide illustrations for the lyrics.  Song stories are great for children who hardly ever gravitate to books because they experience them as music.  You may feel shy about singing a book but don’t worry children love to hear their adults sing and they don’t judge the quality of our singing voices!

A song book from a previous post:

The More We Get Together (4/16)

Over in the Meadow: An Old Counting Rhyme:

Acting Out a Favorite Story

Many stories are just plain fun to act out!. Some explicitly invite acting out and each ‘part’ can be acted out by everyone.  Others have more of a plot and are best divided into parts played by different people. Many give children permission to act out feelings.   Monster stories are favorites as they allow children to be monsters within the context  of the story.  All promote self expression.  Acting out stories is great for children who have a hard time sitting still for a book or don’t gravitate towards books because they are active.

Some fun books to act out that can be found on previous posts:  

Where the Wild Things Are (4/8)

The Three Billy Goats Gruff (4/23)

Pretend You’re a Cat by Jean Marzollo:

Stories with No Words

Books with no words use the illustrations to tell the story.  The illustrations may be very simple for younger children or very elaborate with many details for older children.  Babies and younger toddlers love looking at faces; many wordless books for this age are books with faces depicting a range of emotions or books with animals.   Wordless books help children build their vocabulary, their observation skills and make connections.  They offer an open ended, child-directed approach to exploring books.   When reading wordless books with children ask questions: 

  • What do you notice/see? 
  • What is … [character]  doing? 
  • Why do you think they are doing that?
  • How do you think they might be feeling?
  • What you think is happening?
  • What might happen next? 

When reading with younger children, point out your observations in the illustrations.

Wordless book from a previous post:

My Face Book (4/9)

Rain by Peter Spier:

Books about Life Experience using Animals

Children are often drawn to books with animals as the main character personified and experiencing some aspect of life.  They add an element of humor to the story as children wonder if the animal really behaves in a particular way or has an experience.  They are wonderful tools for helping children process various experiences in life that can be confusing because the child is one step removed from the animal in the story.  They are particularly great for processing feelings and transitions.  Kevin Henkes, an author, has written many we love at BCS.

Kevin Henkes book from a previous blog post:

Wemberly Worried (4/29)

General

Here are some general things to help build interest and engagement in books:

Subject Specific Books

Seek out books about things your child is interested in or excited about.  The library is a great resource.  Burlington Fletcher Free Library has an online system for searching and reserving books with a subject search.  Virginia Lee Burton, an author, understood the value in books about things that interest children when in the 1940s she had two children who did not enjoy books. She realized there were not many, if any, written about the things her sons were excited about so she wrote several about vehicles and a house that ‘moves’ to the city.  Children who don’t normally seek books are drawn in by a subject that excites them.

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (audio):

Reading with pets, stuffed animals or dolls integrates books and dramatic play. Children may browse books with a special lovie or pet. 

emma 1

Melissa’s daughter, Emma, frequently read to family dog, Marta.

emma 2

Emma reading to her babies.

Having a quiet book time in bed before lights out with a stack of books allows your child to browse books independently at their own pace and experience the calming effect of books as they regulate and get ready to fall asleep.  Books at bedtime reinforces positive relationship with books, eases the bedtime transition and supports interests in books

emma 3

Emma continued this tradition for years.

Some other BCS teachers and loved ones enjoying books!

Sheila’s daughters read together when they were younger!

20200531_141130

Natalie’s big sister reads to her in their favorite rocking chair.

 

VELS:

All Ages:
COMMUNICATION AND EXPRESSION – LITERACY DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION READING SKILLS Goal 1: Children develop the foundational skills needed for engaging with print, reading and writing. 
COMMUNICATION AND EXPRESSION – CREATIVE ARTS AND EXPRESSION MUSIC 
Goal 1: Children engage in making and listening to music as a vehicle for expression and learning.
COMMUNICATION AND EXPRESSION – CREATIVE ARTS AND EXPRESSION THEATRE Goal 1: Children engage in dramatic play and theatre as a way to represent real-life experiences, communicate their ideas and feelings, learn, and use their imaginations.
DEVELOPING SELF-APPROACHES TO LEARNING INITIATIVE  Goal 1: Children show curiosity about the world around them

BABY PLAY

READ BY KATLYN

 

ART in PLACE: Social Distancing in the Studio

“Welcome to The Eric Carle Museum’s first online exhibition, ART in PLACE: Social Distancing in the Studio, organized while the Museum remains shuttered due to the pandemic. We asked 21 picture-book artists, isolating in studios around the world, to share their most recent work with us. We were curious to know how creativity is sustaining them during these long and worrisome days. It is our hope that their art will provide comfort to you too, and even spark your own creativity.

Science will get us out of this. Art will get us through this.”

Follow the link below:

ART in PLACE