It is good to introduce new vocabulary, but make
sure you are not featuring too many new words at
one time. Books with rhymes or repetitive phrases
are good for class participation. Librarians are
wonderful resources to help you find good, moti-
Read with Gusto
When reading to children, be expressive and en-
thusiastic. Make sounds for the fire alarm, quack
like the duck, and use a deep voice for the lion or
bear. Even though you might feel silly, you will
discover how this dramatic presentation holds the
attention of your class. Children will remember
you for these antics (and I have discovered other
teachers waiting outside my door to hear how a
Whenever possible, memorize the book you
are going to read to the children. When you do
this, you can pay attention to children’s reactions,
make eye contact, and help refocus their attention
when needed instead of keeping your eyes on the
text. Tell the story slowly and clearly, avoid rush-
ing through it.
Figure out different ways to tell the story as you go
through the week. Make your own flannel board
pieces or find items from the story to bring out as
you read. There are also many commercial prod-
ucts that go along with books. Audiocassettes,
CDs, DVDs, and MP3 files offer different ways to
share the story with your students. Puppets and
stuffed animals are always a hit too! Give an ani-
mal to one child and have her pass it on every
time you turn the page. This helps the children to
pay attention to the story.
Share the wonder of literature with children.
They will pick up on the joy you feel while you’re
reading books. This creates a solid foundation for
love of reading throughout their own lives.
Activ ity 4
Count! Snacktime is a prime opportunity to teach children
social skills and manners while refining their con-
versational abilities. In addition, the children can
practice passing items, pouring drinks, and mak-
ing requests. They can also learn the importance
of washing their hands before eating or handling
food. Talk to them about germs and how they can
be transferred from our hands to our food.
Teach Language Skills
Children should use language to ask for food
items, glasses, straws, and napkins. Help them
use complete sentences when making requests.
Remind them to use “please” and “thank you.”
As children become comfortable with snacktime
routines, have them take turns distributing food
and pouring drinks for their classmates. Pouring
drinks is a great fine-motor skill that takes prac-
tice to master. While children are serving food,
they are also conversing with their friends and
learning how to use one-to-one mathematical
correspondence to make sure each person gets a
snack, cup, or napkin.
Introduce Science Concepts
Connect snacktime to science: talk about different
parts of food, such as the skin and seeds. Have
children share their ideas about where foods come
from. Where do we get bananas, milk, or carrots?
How do foods smell and feel? What colors do the
children see? Does the food’s color change when
they cut it in half to see what is inside?
Other learning possibilities abound during
snacktime. Many of the lessons are useful for a
lifetime. Children can learn about good eating
habits, discriminating between healthy foods and
those that should be eaten in moderation. They
can learn about food categories, such as dairy,
fruits, and vegetables. Help them try new foods
at snacktime, knowing that it often takes many
trials for them to acquire a taste for certain foods.