One of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences you can have is sharing a book with a young child. Children enjoy exploring books by touching them, looking at them, and listening to them being read aloud. The reader’s enthusiasm and tone of voice, as well as the circumstances under which the book is being read, are crucial to the child’s enjoyment of story time.
When you share books and stories with infants, toddlers, and two-year-olds, you’re supporting their development in many different ways. First, reading is an excellent way to strengthen language skills and vocabulary, giving children the opportunity to learn new words to describe objects, animals, feelings, colors, shapes, and experiences. As they grow, they’ll begin to mimic the animal sounds and repetitive phrases commonly found in children’s stories. Exploring books also helps infants to develop their fine motor skills. A baby may grasp the book, feel its texture, shake it, toss it, or chew on it. In addition, reading involves pleasant interaction between the young child and an adult or older child, reinforcing its appeal.
Books are an essential part of any education program. The area of your classroom dedicated to reading should be cozy and inviting. A child-size rocking chair, cushions, pillows, and other inviting furnishings are excellent choices for the space. Books shouldn’t be limited to this area only, however. Looking at books should be encouraged in any area of the classroom.
When you select books for your reading area, there are many factors you must keep in mind. The books you choose must be developmentally appropriate and depict a wide range of characters from diverse backgrounds. Once you have an appropriate collection of books, it’s essential to rotate the books on your shelves so that each week there’s a new selection from which the children may choose. While rotation helps to hold the children’s attention, you’ll also want to keep a stack of much-loved favorites nearby for repeated readings.
While a young infant may be capable only of focusing on a bold picture and enjoying the sound of your voice, older babies and toddlers need more interaction during reading time. Each age group has its own set of needs, and the following guidelines will help you choose books that are developmentally appropriate.
Books for young infants should be:
When choosing books for older infants, remember that:
Toddlers are ready for books with the following qualities:
When choosing books for two-year-olds, look for books that contain:
The Child Book project is a hands-on activity that relates to early childhood education.
The goal of this project is to help you expand your understanding of the material contained in your textbook and study guide and to apply your knowledge to some practical situations in an early childhood education environment.
This is a project of discovery. You’ll explore your local bookstores and libraries in person to find five age- and developmentally appropriate books that you would use with children under the age of three. Please note: No purchase of any book is necessary to complete this assignment. Once you’ve chosen your five books, you’ll compose an annotated list of the books. Ideally, you’re encouraged to select one book intended for young infants, one for mobile infants, one for toddlers, and one for two-year-olds. The fifth and final book can be appropriate for any of these ages and stages.
The best places to find the books for your project are bookstores and libraries. You might ask, “Why can’t I just use the Internet to search for books?” The answer is that you might find interesting titles and descriptions that way, but if you’re working online you obviously can’t see the books, touch them, or read them through. Because some libraries’ collections may be somewhat dated, you could use an online search to make a list of new, popular books that you want to see and read. But don’t ignore favorites that have been around for decades—they remain popular for a reason. You even could take a child younger than three years of age with you to the bookstore or library to gauge his or her interest and response to various books you’re considering.
For each book you select, use notebook paper or index cards to compile the following information:
After you’ve collected all the information for each book, begin writing your assignment.
Create a title page in APA format. Format your paper using a standard font, such as 12-point Times New Roman. Set the margins at a standard 1 inch on all sides. Set your line spacing as double. Because you’ve given your information on the title page, no header is necessary. The standard style format for citations, if required, is American Psychological Association (APA). For more information on this citation style, refer to this site.
Your completed assignment will be in essay format, consisting of 12 fully developed paragraphs that include the following:
Organize your five books alphabetically by title. After you’ve written your one-paragraph introduction, begin writing about your first book in a paragraph that indicates the book’s title, author, illustrator, publisher, and date of publication. If you need guidance about how to provide this information in APA format, refer to your Penn Foster Virtual Library. In at least three to five sentences, write a brief summary of the book describing its specific characteristics. This is where you’ll explain its characters, setting, plot, illustrations, rhyme, theme, and more.
Then, write a fully developed paragraph to clearly identify three unique features of the book that you believe would make it appealing to a young child. In other words, answer the question, “Why would a child select this book?” Share why you think the book would become a child’s favorite, and tell why a child would want to repeatedly “read” or listen to the story being read to them. Explain what makes this book special and valuable. Each paragraph must include at least three to five sentences. Follow this format when writing about your second, third, fourth and fifth books. End your essay with a one-paragraph conclusion that summarizes for the reader what you’ve learned in completing this assignment.
Be sure to review this assignment’s instructional video (located on your student portal) for additional information and an example of how to write each paragraph.
Use the following guidelines to ensure that your project meets all the requirements of the assignment. Each book selection on your list is worth 20 percent of the total grade. The selections will be evaluated according to the following criteria.