Education Preschoolers is the Foundation for Early Literacy
When is it a good time to start reading to your child? Is the perfect time at night or before nap time? There is really no sure answer to that question. But what educators and parents want is often to foster early literacy in children.
Reading is a fundamental skill that all children should know. How can parents encourage early literacy at home?
Although a trip to the local library is a common fun activity, there are other ways to promote reading at home. And it is also a great way for parents to spend time with their children.
Why is reading such a basic skill in education preschoolers?
Simply, studies showed that preschoolers who begin to take part in story-times or are read out-loud are more apt to have better language skills than those children who were not.
The findings of this study also suggested that preschoolers, later, have higher achievement scores in spelling, reading comprehension, and improved language skills. As a matter of fact, preschoolers who were also taught reading with early print-awareness also increased their reading levels.
Is being bilingual in diverse languages, besides the native one, an excellent way to improve your brain skills? The way you integrate language is a fantastic process. Children, younger than 3 years old, acquire words in many different languages.
“The brain has a perfectly good system whose job it is to do just that – it’s the executive control system. It focuses attention on what’s important and ignores distraction. Therefore, for a bilingual, the executive control system is used in every sentence you utter. That’s what makes it strong.” Ellen Bialystok explained.
Many schools in the United States offer a foreign language program. However, many schools do not implement these programs until high school. But studies show the earlier a child learns another language, the better for a child’s brain. Until recently, scientific evidence suggests learning another language is better for your mind.
Between the 1880s and 1960s, educators believed learning a second language leads to literacy disruption, language delay, and confusion. The opposite is true. Many of the benefits include language improvement, logical thinking, and enhancement of cognitive abilities.
Poetry for children is one of the most rewarding experiences educators show. Besides the literacy aspect of poems, it also shows rhyming, metaphors, and boosts their imaginations.
Not only is it fun to learn another language by reading different types of literature, but also it is interesting to see how other authors interpret the world around us.
Poems can turn into songs and they turn into poems. But the beauty of it all is that in a short or long poem, you appreciate the rhyming in Spanish. Children enjoy using various Spanish words to interpret the content.
But what are some great sources in poetry for children to start this literary endeavor?
In “Animal Poems of the Iguazú, Animalario del Iguazú” by Francisco X. Alarcón, you read about the many wonderful creatures that live at the rainforest of the Iguazú in South America in prose form. Alarcón makes a wonderful reference to this wonder of nature for children to know about with metaphors, rhyming, and alliteration.
What are the Iguazu Falls in poetry for children?
The Iguazu Falls (Cataratas del Iguazú) are located between the borders of Brazil and Argentina. These immense waterfalls are about 80 meters high (approx. 269 ft.), 2.7 kilometers wide (1.7 miles), and there are 275 drops. The name Iguazú is derived from the primitive language guaraní: ‘agua y grande’, which the literal translation means big water.
In this vast area of now protected rainforest, you find many different species from monkeys to panthers to exotic birds. Alarcón makes a wonderful mention to the Iguazu’s beauty in his books and poems.
Here are examples from his works that describes the earth at the Iguazu Falls:
es … colorado
como el ají
y el pimiento…
…la canela y el chocolate…”
“Earth, you have
so much iron
is … rusty
…cinnamon and chocolate powder”
The author makes a wonderful description and compares the earth (tierra) on Iguazu Falls as red as peppers and chiles and magnifies our senses that red implies hot (caliente). It also implies that the texture (textura) of the earth is like cinnamon or chocolate, powdery and gritty. In a beautiful way, the poem wants you to use all of your senses to explore the beauty of the Iguazu Falls.
Poetry for children is a great way to introduce other genres of literature. Reading can be fun with books. But it can also be more engaging when educators show poetry as an alternative to books.
Have you tried poetry for children, recently? Did you like it or not?