Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Emergent Literacy

Emergent literacy is something that I was aware of before, but on a very vague level. Now, I feel like I have a real understanding of what emergent literacy is. Children's daily life has everything to do with the knowledge that they bring with them into the classroom. Some children may not see the importance of reading and writing because it is not a part of their life until then. Some children may have evident characteristics that someone reads to them: turning the pages from left to right, pointing at the words, pointing from left to right, telling the story from the pictures, etc. These emergent literacy characteristics are vital to the way the teacher should plan the lessons around the students. Clearly not every student is going to enter into school with the same level of emergent literacy. Therefore, your lesson plans will need to be individualized to the students needs and be flexible. One way to help students who have fewer emergent literacy skills is to pair them with students that have many more emergent literacy skills. Hopefully, the child with more skills will help the other child to pick up and understand certain concepts. On the other side, the student who is helping teach will benefit as well as his or her emergent literacy skills become more concrete. Another way to help students build their emergent literacy skills is to do daily interactive readings. Other ideas that could help are singing the alphabet song, asking comprehension questions during daily readings, creating your own ending to a story, creating some kind of rhyming game with what you're reading, simply talking about what a book is and all the parts to it, etc. The ProTeacher website has some great ideas for helping create emergent literacy skills, some of the ideas above came from this website.

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