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The book that I have created is a short story which gives exposure to children of some opposites. The book can be used as an introduction to opposites where then the teacher can creates activities based on opposites not on those mentioned only in the book but also on more opposites. I planned different activities where the children have a good exposure of these opposites while also having fun. Also these activities help them in different aspects of development such as physical development, language development and creative development. This book can be used with children in year one during the second term. It has to be used during the second term as the language used is the second language so they have to have a basic idea of the second language, English, to understand more. Also some of the activities are above the development of smaller children.
The book begins by introducing the pirate who had two parrots; one big parrot and one small parrot. The pirate, who finds a map in a bottle, has a particular target, he has to find two treasures but surprisingly enough, he finds an empty one and another one full of jewellery. Also the book gives a message to the children that if they not succeed when doing something, they do not keep back and try again as if they try hard they can succeed; like the pirate he found an empty treasure box but he kept on search. If he did not do so, he had not find the treasure and went back home without success. Also together with the book I have created cards with the opposites written down on them where these can be used in every activity. These can for be used for example if the teacher is saying in the can show them the card with the word in while pointing at it. This will help children to recognise the words too.
During the first activity named 'The Hidden Treasure', the teacher has to gather the children and tell them the story. While the children are getting exposed of the opposites they are also being exposed to colours and language as the children can be asked to talk about the story what they liked, what name they can give to the pirate and much more. When the discussion ends the teacher has to provide different materials such as rulers, pencils, markers, glitters and coloured paper and ask the children to create something from the story such as for example the cave, the pirate or the treasure. When they are ready the teacher asks them what did they do and let them talk about what they did such as what did they used to create that picture and she can write on the paper the things that they tell her that they did such as pirate. Then the teacher has to hang children work at eye level for them. The aim of this activity is to enhance language development and creativity. Â
Another activity is named 'Our Own Island Scene'. The teacher has to begin by telling the story again to the children. After the story the teacher explains to the children that they are going to collect things such as leaves and small brunches to do a collage where they are going to create their own scene of the island the pirate is on. The children together with the teacher has to go in a garden nearby (or as an outing, if not possible the teacher brings the leaves herself from home) and the children collect different leaves. Afterwards they put the leaves on the school table and talk about them such as the colours the leaves have, which is big and which is small and much more. After the discussion the teacher has to give the children a big paper (it has to be big enough where the children have space to work on) where they have to create trees, bushes, rocks and much more which this is going to be used as the scene during the role play. When they are ready they can discuss what they did together with the teacher where they can compare the trees they did, which is big and which is small or similar things that they did. The aim of this activity is language development and creativity but also exposure of the concept big and small when comparing the leaves and analysing their work during the discussion.
'Lets Build a Big Ship' is another interesting activity. First the teacher has to begin by showing the children, picture from the book, one after the other, and they have to say the story in their own words. When the teacher finishes the story asks the children if they want to build a ship bigger than that seen in the picture. Then the teacher provides the children resources such as boxes, toilet paper rolls, tissues and glue. The teacher together with the children compare the boxes which are big and which is small and play a game where they put the big boces on one side and the small ones on the other side and then count them. Afterwards, together with the teacher's help the children build a ship doing papier-mâché while talking with the children such as for example ask the children to tell her what they are doing. The next day the children can paint this ship as they like to as this enhance also their creativity. The aim of this activity is to help language development and the children build a clearer idea of the opposites big and small. Â
Another planned activity is 'Acting of a Pirate, Whiles Learning'. The teacher starts by saying the story again but this time a child interprets the story whiles the teacher is saying it (use the scene they did in a previous activity and the ship they did) and for example while the child is opening the treasure the teacher asks the other children what is he doing. When the teacher finishes the story the teacher explains the game they are going to play. First the teacher has to dived children in, for example, three groups of five and provide five coits to every group of children. The children have to put one coit in the sward run till the treasure without letting the coit fall from the sward, put the sward in the treasure and go back and give the sward to the other child. The group who finish first wins. While explaining this game the teacher has to show them how while emphasising the concept of in an out. The aim of this activity is so that the child has more exposure of what is in and out together with other prepositions found in the story.Â
'Lets Make Our Own Jewellery' is an interesting activity for children. The teacher first has to show the children a picture of the pirate looking at the map and ask the children about the picture such as what they can see in the picture and what is the pirate doing. Then the teacher has to ask the children where did the pirate find the map (in the bottle) and after the children give the correct answer the teacher explains the game they are going to play. The teacher before the activity has to prepare a very big container with sand and put five bottles in the sand with a map in them. Then in groups of five the children have to search for the bottles hidden in the sand with the mask on their eyes not to see. When they find them the teacher asks five children to open the bottles get out the map from the bottles and see what is written on them (find the two treasures) then the children together with the teacher, go at the outside area and search for the two treasures (which the teacher should have already prepared). After finding the treasures the teacher asks two children to open them and one will be empty and one with jewellery so that they see the concept of empty and full (the cards can be shown with the words empty and full). The teacher then explains to them that they are going to do pasta necklaces to fill the empty treasure (a box has to be provided for every two children as they are small). The aim of this activity is so that the children get more a clearer idea what is empty and full, in and out. Â
Letting the children try to from the story themselves is a good opportunity for children as this helps them to develop a clearer idea about sequences such as this activity, 'We're doing Great'. The teacher first has to show them the first picture of the big cards and start the story herself then the children has to put the rest of the pictures one after another and the teacher has to help them if they need and ask them what they can see in every picture. Afterwards the teacher has to show them the picture of the straight and curved road, and with the Velcro the teacher stick the straight road and the curved one textured and the children feel the roads with their fingers (the cards with straight and cured can be shown). When they are ready the teacher provides the children a straight line and a curved line on the floor with tape, in the outdoor play area where the teacher divide the children into two groups one on the curved and one on the straight. The have to walk on this line without falling and then they change with the other group. Afterwards they can do it with a bean bag on their head so the task is a little bit harder for them. The aim of this activity is to teach them the opposite of straight which is curved and also balance (physical development).Â
'In and Out, Lets See Who Wins' is an activity where the children will learn but enjoy themselves for sure. First the teacher has to show the children a treasure and asks the children who does that belong to in the story. After they answer show them another treasure which is smaller and open it and leave it open and ask them what they can see different. Â This has to be done at an outside are. When the children talk about the differences the teacher explains the game they are going to play. They have to run and grab one bean bag which will be placed in the big treasure box, get it out and put it in the hoop. The bean bags will be of two colours, and the children have to put the red bean bags in the red hoop and the blue bean bags in the blue hoop. Also the children will be dived into two groups so after the game is finished the teacher counts the bean bags left in the treasures and who has the less bean bags left wins. The aim of this activity is categorization of colours and getting more exposed to the opposites big and small, open and close, in and out.Â
Another activity is 'Match, Run and Learn' consists of all the opposites together. This will be done with the use of flash cards and a physical activity. First the teacher shows them a flash card and they have to tell for example if the box is open or close. If the flash card shows the treasure box open then they have to find a matching card where the treasure box is closed. When they finish doing this activity they go outside and play a game with all the opposites applied (except for open and close). They have to be divided in two groups. First they have to run on the curved line (marked with tape on the floor), go next to the big treasure box, take out the bean bag, run next to the cone leave the ban bag there, go in the tunnel, get out of the tunnel and finally run on the straight line. The aim of this activity is that the children enhance their motor skills while learning more the opposites.Â
As seen above these activities together with the book will help the children develop more thinking skills, language skills, motor skills and more. Reading a book can help a lot children in language skills but good planned activities applied can help them in all areas of development.
What are the literacy benefits and advantages you would aim to achieve through the use of this particular book?
Children adore stories, and they like to listen to stories even stories that they already know. Children learn while having fun so story telling is beneficial for children especially for language development (Bourke, n.d). Repetition, eye catching pictures, characters which interest children, are some of the important points that help children in language development and skills such as listening skills. One can teach different things with a book such as opposites and past simple and the teacher can either choose an interesting book or make one herself (Cheung, 2009).
Big books are a useful tool for children to learn. If one needs to promote language and expose children to language learning, big books have to be used as young children still relies on tangible and concrete motivations. In short, young children need to see and touch in order to learn. Also there has to be creative activities together with the book so that children not only sees the story but also have hands on learning activities related to the story, and discover different things that help them in all areas of development (TavÄ±l and Söylemez, 2008). These activities together with the big book will help in language development as like Vygotsky believed language will be learned trough social interaction. The book that I have created together with the follow-up activities will for sure help in language development and there will be a lot of social interaction. During the follow-up activities, social interactions can be seen in different times for example while the children are building a ship they can discuss together what they can do or what they are doing. Vygotsky in fact stated that:
Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of ideas. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals. (Vygotsky, 1978, p.57).
Also big books are important in using the first language and second language. There might be new words in the book especially if introducing a second language. In my opinion an attractive big book with simple words is a good resource to introduce a new language together with easy activities to children as big books are attractive. While reading a story children will learn that all those words mean something and they focus on understanding the words to understand the story. Also actions from the teacher while telling the story will help children to understand words that they don't know and by this, children are accumulating new vocabulary (Cheung, 2009). Words, especially if it is a new language for children, have to be reinforced by repeating them several times in a meaningful way so that children learn unconsciously without getting bored. In my book in fact I tried to use simple words and short sentences as not all the children in year one will know our second language, English. Also many words can be seen as a picture in the book for example if I mentioned a cave there is a cave drawn where the teacher can point at it while reading and the children will understand better.
Another way of reinforcement is by praise. As Skinner believed reinforcement will help the children repeat the specific behaviour praised. If for example the teacher is trying to teach opposites and the child for example compares two opposites, it is important that the teacher praise him/her. Like this learning of language will be encouraged.
Helping children to see reading as something enjoyable is an important things. If they don't get bored listening to attractive stories, the children will get an idea that reading is fun and this help them to be good readers in the future. But this will not only help them in future reading but also in future writing (TavÄ±l and Söylemez, 2008). Suitable planned activities should be done to follow up a storytelling from a big book which will help children also to be creative and enhance their imagination. This will help them in future essay writing as they will not get stuck (Cheung, 2009). In my opinion good planned activities together with the big book helps the children to think and be creative in future writing and why not, we will have good writers. The follow up activities of the book I did, gives children this chance as there are activities which helps them in creativity such as for example when they are building the ship themselves. As Bruner believed these activities should be scaffolded so that the children learn step by step and therefore the activities will not be above their development.
Also when the children really concentrated on the story while trying to understand, one can see that activities together with the big book (storytelling) are also beneficial for listening skills. Children's listening skill can be developed. While listening children can also notice that the intonation of the voice can change according to the situation the sentence read is representing for example when reading the book I have created the teacher can for example do an expression on her face which shows a big surprise when the pirate finds the treasure box empty.
Saying a story from a big book together with activities are also important as these help children in their future life while talking with others as they will have a good vocabulary where they can use it to talk to others together with listening skills and writing skills. (Cheung, 2009). Big books together with follow-up activities make stories interesting for children and motivating. This is a good way to create a desire for learning (TavÄ±l and Söylemez, 2008).
Bourke, K (n.d). Teaching Grammar to Young Learners Retrieved on February 26th, 2010 from http://www.oup.com/elt/catalogue/guidance_articles/14867483?cc=gb#four
Camarill, C.L., Valdivia, P.J., and Sanchez, F.C. Does Storytelling Improve Reading to Young Learners? Retrieved on February 26th, 2010 from http://www.fonael.org/Articulos_Mem_FONAEL_IV/Leal_Camarillo_Cindy_Livier_et_al.pdf
Charlesworth, R. (2008). Understanding Child Development . 7th ed. United States of America: Thomson Delmar Learning. P286-287, P511-512
Cheung, A. (2009). Storytelling in the Young Learner Classroom Retrieved on February 26th, 2010 from http://home.dict.cn/space.php?uid=444215&do=blog&id=17226
Sollars, V. (2009, October/January). Language and Literacy Development Lecture delivered at the University of Malta
TavÄ±l, Z. Müge and Söylemez, A. Selmin (2008). Ekev Academic Review; Spring2008, Vol. 12 Issue 35, p371-382 Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ejournals.um.edu.mt/ehost/pdf?vid=9&hid=7&sid=56ddf103-26f6-4d14-845b-684ac1b18ec2%40sessionmgr12