Back to school picture books are a wonderful start to any school year. Reading them helps prepare kids and offers the opportunity to talk about things kids may have anxiety about. They are also an excellent opportunity to build vocabulary with some brilliant words in the simplest of books.
DO NOT STOP READING THE PICTURE BOOKS! The big kids like them just as much. I promise. You don’t need to pull out the ABC board books-don’t insult the kids. You can pull out some great stories with the bigs and slow life down.
So, our strategy this week: Integration from prior knowledge.
When you come across a word that is new or one you want to highlight or target, remind the kids of an event they can relate to.
Book: Back to School, Splat! By Rob Scotton. Splat’s initial excitement about the first day of cat school is ruined by a homework assignment on the first night. He is having a hard time choosing JUST ONE thing to show-and-tell about his summer vacation. It is a delightful book. Did I say that I love Splat?
vocabulary words: dragged, important, tagged, treasure, searching, launch, struggled, wiggling
Example from text using integration from prior knowledge; “Splat’s tail dragged along behind him…” Say, “His tail dragged, remember when you dragged the bag of basketballs into the gym?” Another example, “Splat went searching for pirate treasure.” Say, “He was searching, remember when we were searching for your pencil?”
Successful reading comprehension…and that is the goal, right? Not just reading words, is unequivically related to vocabulary knowledge. Research shows that vocabulary instruction must be intentional. The strategies I have discussed show you can lay the foundations for strong vocabulary knowledge EARLY on. Yes, through picture books.