Friday, April 22, 2011

More pre-reading activities/games

Though I believe firmly in the Montessori method of education, I know it is very important to present the 3-4 year old children with  several pre-reading activity before introducing them to any Montessori Language materials. These "pre-reading" activities can be completed without any knowledge or understanding of the letter/sound relationship. The photos below show four of the "pre-reading" activities that I have placed on my "first" language shelf.

This photo shows a set of "go-together" matching cards.  Go-togethers games are considered pre-reading activities because they require children to think carefully about how things are connected to each other. When they willlearn to read in primary school, they will have to have a strong sense of what goes together: for instance, the sound /b/ goes with te letter "b" or /b/ goes with the word "banana". Not that easy when you think of it! In that sense, opposite matching cards (see 2nd photo below) are also a pre-reading game because the children have to analyze what is different but related at the same time. This is a very important type of comprehension activity for them.

The third photo below shows a set of part-whole cards. It is quite populr among the young kids because it represent some of their favourite TV characters.  What do they have to do? They have to take a part of a body ( a head, a tummy or a pair of feet) and match them to its related parts. This game introduces the relationship that exists between a "part" and "the whole". This is a mathematical concept but it is also important in reading and writing. When a child reads, he/she has to understand that letters are parts of a word, words are parts of a sentence etc... 

Sequencing is the ability to put the events of a story in the order in which they occurred. “Teaching sequencing to early learners is important because logical order of thinking is fundamental to reading and everyday life," says  Brenda Strickland, author of  Year Round reading. So sequencing is a  pre-reading skill that preschoolers can practice with the activity shown below:

For some children, sequencing can be a hard concept to grasp, especially when they are trying to tell a story. Using good key words like "first," "next," "then," and "finally," we cue the child as to what is coming next.

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