child question 4

You can learn much about the language and thought processes of young children by examining the literature written for them.

Visit the children’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 “classic” 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:
    1. rhyme and repetition in the story
    2. egocentrism (e.g., misunderstandings that arise from the main character’s self-centered viewpoint)
    3. animism (e.g., animals that dress and talk like a child)
    4. centration (e.g., stories about characters who have only one prominent feature; stories about a child focusing on one special goal, trait, or object)
    5. effects that depend on literal or figurative language (e.g., jokes that come from a character’s taking things literally; misunderstandings that arise from the use of figurative language)
    6. story elements that reassure the child about the strong ties of family and friendship
    7. story elements that reflect the young child’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?


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