Over the past two months, kids from the Kindergarten class have been visiting our room once a week to read books to the toddlers. This past Friday we had two guests come down and share books with us. After the audience applauded and we said our good byes to the kindergarten friends, there were three empty chairs in front of the easel. This was an open invitation to continue sharing books. Our young friends decided that they would do a second show for each other. The teachers watched as children walked to the library shelf to pick out books. The children needed minimal assistance to take turns but for the most part were pretty independent with this activity.
Pretending to read a story and oral story retelling are behaviors that we see in the classroom. These emerging skills that we see can be described as “pre-reading”. The experience of sitting in a chair with friends watching in front of you can be empowering for young children. They are able to see themselves as “big kids” and also storytellers.
“Story telling is perhaps the most powerful way that human beings organize experience. Some have argued that narrative thinking is the optimum form of thinking for learning and expressing what we know about ourselves and others.”
Dr. Susan Engel
Author of The Hungry Mind