People and places are very much a part of a young child’s life. These bookshelf sets combine the joy of being in relationship with others through good storytelling and glorious illustrations.
Books as Bridges to Many Cultures
Everyday experiences of everyday life are the memories of childhood. Young boys and girls learn about themselves as they interact with family and friends and then as they move beyond their time at home to activities in play groups and preschool. They become aware of others who are alike and different from them in many ways. Quality literature provides images and words that connect youngsters to children who may live in other parts of the world or belong to different cultures or races. In this column, you’ll find the story of an Alaskan Inuit mother and daughter who share a guessing game about love, a book about a typical morning in a park in China, a story that explains what it’s like to celebrate a Korean New Year, and a beautifully illustrated picture biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.The Milestones Project, Celebrating Childhood Around the World
(Dr. Richard Steckel and Michele Steckel; Tricycle Press, 2004) is a wonderful resource for teachers as they support children in their understanding of other cultures. It is filled with photographs of boys and girls from around the globe and includes small stories about the milestones in every child’s life, no matter where they livebirthdays, playtime, lost teeth, friends, haircuts, school, and pets. The authors of the text describe their vision in this way: "We aim to create a more peaceful world by encouraging the recognition that, beneath our beliefs or skin color, we are all the same; we are a single people, striving for joy and meaning in an unpredictable world."A Child's WorldGrowing Every Day
Childhood is a growing time, filled with learning about self and others and the world. The books in this column celebrate children, honor family, and rejoice in the routines that are part of a typical day in a young child's life. Bath time and bedtime, play and exploration, the first day of school, and cuddling time at the end of a busy, busy daythese simple activities are repeated time and again in many houses, in every country, all around our world. So gather all the boys and girls you know, and share these stories. It's time to celebrate a child's world.Family and FriendsCaring for Ourselves and Others
No one loves you the way family and friends do, and this selection of storybooks reinforces the sense of belonging that is so important to every child. That sense of belonging is noted in the social studies section of the Ohio Early Learning Standards for preschool children. Parents, extended family, teachers, and friends all influence the way children feel about themselves. Reading stories like the ones detailed here provide opportunities for discussion regarding the uniqueness of each person and the special strengths and gifts that the boys and girls bring to their families and the classroom setting. Indeed, there is much to learn from Little Nutbrown Hare, comforting Mrs. Bear, brave Koala Lou, frustrated Llama Llama, and moody Grumpy Bird. So gather the children around you and share these reassuring tales, whose message is, "Yes, you are loved."Family and Me
The Ohio Early Learning Standards for Social Studies include a focus on children
and their families
. Preschool experiences fortify a sense of self
and extend understandings regarding interactions with others
. Stories read aloud can emphasize personal histories, traditional family events, and a sense of belonging to different groups. It's also a time to talk about those important skills of sharing, turn taking, following rules, thinking of others and making good choices. Make your own good choices as you read these special books.Focus on Friendships
Preschool serves as a transition between the comfortable circle of family and the expanded community of friends. As boys and girls spend time with peers in a structured setting, they move from mostly independent and parallel play to interactive and collaborative activities. The Ohio Early Learning Standards for Social Studies address the skills necessary to recognize the special qualities of others and to learn to work and play in a group.
The books listed below provide storybook examples about how to find a friend and be a friend. Sometimes the friends are animals, and sometimes they are children. Each of the characters demonstrates caring and loving characteristics that let the reader know what it means to be a friend.Fostering Positive Approaches Toward Learning: Creativity, Persistence, Initiative, and More!
The Approaches Toward Learning Domain, part of the Ohio Early Learning and Development Standards, reminds teachers that it is important to support young children’s efforts to show initiative and to be curious, innovative, creative, persistent, and fully engaged. For example, letting children explore new uses for familiar materials through play and allowing children the freedom to practice thinking outside the box can benefit them in years to come as they seek to solve problems both at school and at home.
The books in this collection will introduce children to some characters who portray one or more of these positive traits. Before, during, and after reading the books, children and adults can engage in great conversations that may spark little minds, bodies, and spirits to think deeper, try harder, or express more creatively so that they can achieve amazing things no matter what age they are.Fun on the Farm
The family farm is vanishing as a way of life in many parts of America today; yet farm animals and farm culture are a favorite topic of study in the preschool curriculum. Some children may not know much about farm animals and may never have visited a farmyard, but they are fascinated by cows and pigs and chickens and feel a special kinship to farm babies. The books shared in this column provide information, pictures, maps, charts, photographs, and stories about life on the farm. Invite your children to join you on the hay wagon as you laugh, learn, and have fun on the farm. E-i-e-i-o!Informational Text
Learning to read informational texts
requires different skills and strategies from those used when reading narratives. As young readers investigate special topics, they must slow down their reading rate so that they can take in and understand information, gather information from a variety of text features and graphic structures, and organize the information they acquire from a variety of sources. Boys and girls both seem to enjoy their first experiences in reading to learn.We Are Alike and Different, A Look at a Few Cultures
Young children are just beginning to understand that people are alike and different. The Ohio Early Learning Standards emphasize that boys and girls should be aware of and value the diversity of those around them.
Children’s literature provides valuable examples of people from many cultures as well as information regarding similarities and differences in traditions, homes, clothing, and daily life. The books included in this column introduce young readers to a little girl who loves to wrap up in her mother’s sari, a big sister who wishes her little sibling could eat kimchee, and a group of children who use their imaginations to create a dancing dragon. All of the stories feature characters and vocabulary from just a few of the world's cultures. So, open your eyes to the sights and your ears to the sounds as you share these multicultural books with boys and girls.