At The International Preschools, literacy and pre-reading skills are at the forefront of our interdisciplinary, play-based learning curriculum. During the months of January, February, and March, these skills are highlighted via our school-wide author and book studies.
Many of our Pre-K (4s) and Junior K (4s/5s) classes approach the literacy unit by choosing a chapter book to study. Chapter books provide students with the opportunity to use their imaginations while fine-tuning their auditory processing and listening skills. Since most chapter books provide little (if any) illustrations, children need to use context clues and/or their imaginations to create “pictures” in their minds. Additionally, children learn to process information read aloud without relying on the visual cues of illustrations in the stories. Some of the chapter books being studied this year include A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, and My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.
Other classes focus their literacy unit on a specific author or genre, as our Green Rooms (3s) do. At 45th Street, the Junior Kindergarten is studying the works of Leo Lionni, while at 86th Street, the Pre-K 2 class is concentrating on the fairy tale genre. Here, children are listening to stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears; parents are invited to come in and read the story in different languages, which provides the students with the opportunity to compare and contrast its similarities and differences.
Next week’s blog will focus on our annual Father and Special Friends Read-Aloud, which is a cherished addition to our winter literacy unit.
To read an interesting article about play-based learning, click here.
To purchase any of the chapter books listed above while also supporting our school, click here.
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