You can learn much about the language and thought processes of young children by examining the literature written for them.
Visit the childrenâ€™s section of your local library or bookstore. If you are near the SMC Main Campus, the college’s library has a large collection of children’s books available for you. If you are near the SMC Bundy Campus, the Teacher Resource Room (room 429) also has a large lending library of children’s books available.
Ask the librarian or salesperson to guide you to a book that is a â€œclassicâ€ or well-loved storybook for children from 3 to 5 years old. Examine the book carefully. If possible, read it aloud to a child or someone else. Then complete the following items. Each completed questions is worth 1 point. If you there are no examples of a particular story element in your book, state that in your answer.
- Give the title, names of the author and illustrator, and date of publication of the book.
- Do you remember reading this book when you were a young child?
- Write down examples of any of the following story elements that appear in the book:
- rhyme and repetition in the story
- egocentrism (e.g., misunderstandings that arise from the main characterâ€™s self-centered viewpoint)
- animism (e.g., animals that dress and talk like a child)
- centration (e.g., stories about characters who have only one prominent feature; stories about a child focusing on one special goal, trait, or object)
- effects that depend on literal or figurative language (e.g., jokes that come from a characterâ€™s taking things literally; misunderstandings that arise from the use of figurative language)
- story elements that reassure the child about the strong ties of family and friendship
- story elements that reflect the young childâ€™s fear of separation
- What might children learn cognitively from the story or pictures (concept development, new vocabulary, new information)?
- What might children learn from the social component of reading this book with another person?