Saroj Ghoting’s preconference “STEP Into Storytime” at OLA was wonderful and left me with many ideas that I would like to incorporate into my preschool storytimes. One of her main ideas was scaffolding and early literacy. Since we are not able to adapt each task in storytime to the individual child, we must get a sense of the group as a whole while presenting our material. Depending on the group’s reaction, we should adjust to make the task simpler or more challenging for the group. In general, we can use different levels of the same task that are developmentally appropriate for different ages (babies, toddlers, preschoolers) in order to foster early literacy skills at different levels of a child’s advancement.
Here is an example she provided.
Eensy Weensy Spider
Actions to the words:
Babies- adult crawls fingers (the spider) on baby’s stomach
Toddlers- move their hands up the arm (spout) of their adult
Preschoolers- do the traditional finger motions
Based on this concept, I came up with the following scaffold.
Choo Choo Clickety Clack by Margaret Mayo
Actions to the repeated phrase “Off they go”:
Babies- adult raises baby up
Toddlers- repeat the phrase while making the action that goes with the page (pull whistle for the choo choo, zoom hands for race cars)
Preschooler- storyteller asks the group “What sound does each vehicle make?”
Not every activity, song, and story needs to have a scaffold; doing some scaffolds in a mixed-age storytime helps foster a positive interaction for all ages involved, so that the more advanced children do not feel unchallenged and children who have not fully developed their skills have activities they can competently participate in yet still have the opportunity to improve their early literacy skills. A mixture of skill levels will have the younger children not only learning from us but from their older peers.
Here is a list she provided that lists developmental stages of the early literacy skills.
Children Services Librarian
Douglas County Library System
1409 NE Diamond Lake Bl.
Roseburg, OR 97470
Phone: (541) 440-6009
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