Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A Beginners Guide to Literacy and Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes work as a foundation to literacy.
There is good reason for this. The rhymes have been polished over time and the patterns form the basis for English. If we learn these patterns we come to anticipate and replicate these patterns as we read and write.
The Pixelhouse www.pixelhouse.co.nz nursery rhyme resource can begin the process of becoming literate for a child from very young age, from babies. Teachers and parents can use this simple structure to give their child/children foundation literacy skills.
When using the Pixelhouse Nursery Rhyme resource it's best to begin with the posters and songs on the music CD, learning the whole rhyme. Repeating these wherever possible in everyday activities, going on walks, swinging, rocking a child to sleep etc...
The next step is to introduce the books. We have made them small for small hands. The children will recognise the illustrations as being similar to the poster artwork.  They will choose their favourite and a teacher or parent can model the reading of these with individual or groups of children.
At this stage the children then take ownership of the material. They carry the books around with them, read the stories to their teddy and take them home to share with their family and friends. The stories of the rhymes become the action in their imaginary play as they retell the rhyme and invent their personalised version,
Once the rhymes are well established the ebooks can be introduced. The children will be excited to see their nursery rhymes in a new medium. This is integration at work. We have added open ended creative eActivities as follow up to the ebooks. There is no one right way, the software developer is not in control the child is, so the child's creativity is encouraged not squashed by an error button. The observant teacher will extend and enrich these experiences by making hands on activities available near by the computer. The child can then extend their own thinking through artwork and dramatic play.
I have been asked to take workshops on this literacy process and for some early childhood centers it has become the framework for language acquisition and literacy development. Please feel free to share this blog with others and contact me if you would like this workshop at your center, parent group or school

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