Learning Literacy

Regardless of what age you start looking at early literacy with your child, the world of letters and sounds is vast and exciting. Reading books together is a great way to explore language and literacy. These experiences build on your child's understanding of their world, helps develop thinking, listening and communication skills and is useful for leading onto learning to read and write. When children explore at their own pace, and have support and encouragement, learning happens naturally. 

My stories aim to support young learners as they explore literacy and help make learning fun. Learning opportunities are woven into each story. 

So what will you find inside each book?

  • rhyme: this technique allows children to learn about word families (e.g. dog, fog, log). Children can practice and build their knowledge about word families by predicting how sentences might end. This means children learn to apply problem-solving skills by selecting the appropriate rhyme to fit the context of the sentence. Rhyme also has a rhythm or rhyming pattern which you can hear in the flow of each sentence. This rhythm is significant to learn about breaking words down into individual sounds (syllables). Children can learn to recognise that words that share common sounds, also share a common letter sequence. This becomes useful when learning to read and write. For example, if a child can spell the word run, they can also spell fun and sun. This also applies to reading.

  • repetition/alliteration: this technique is used to make the listener aware of a pattern of sounds. For example in the title 'The Cat who Couldn't Cook' the dominant sound is 'kuh' for the letter C. Repetition allows children to become aware of the sound and hear it used in different words. This again, highlights how words are broken down into chunks. Children can associate the sound to words they are familiar with, e.g. 'kuh' for Chloe or cuddle.

  • vocabulary: the words used within each story have been selected for a creative and educational purpose - to make the story interesting and to challenge and extend a child's vocabulary. It is not expected that they know how to read these words initially, especially children that are new to reading. Younger learners can begin by listening - an adult reading aloud can revisit the word and break it down into chunks. Starting small and learning to recognise the first letter of 'a big word' is a great start. Children that are a bit older and further along with reading will be able to apply appropriate strategies to problem-solve and figure out the word appropriate to the text. The vocabulary used is intended to provide an opportunity for children to learn new and interesting words. When children learn the meaning of these words they can begin to use them in their own everyday language when communicating verbally or in writing.

  • personification: my animal characters don't behave like normal animals, but rather like human beings. This creates humour but also makes it easier for children to relate to the story and its characters and how they might be feeling. It provides a platform where a character might learn a lesson or demonstrate a virtue that the reader is likely to take away from the story. 

  • comprehensive questions: each story ends with a quiz which consist mostly of open ended questions. These require children to answer from memory, recollect, order and interpret details from the story, and offer an opinion. These questions can highlight how well a child has understood the story, and challenge them to analyse and reflect on their interpretation of it. They then convert this, and articulate their thoughts to communicate their ideas using appropriate language and sentence structures.

  • extended learning opportunities: each book provides a suggested list of activity ideas. These relate either to the story itself, the characters or the letter which the book was based on. These activities are only a guide, but can demonstrate ways where the learning can be extended. For example: Clawdius Cat might inspire young learners to help cook dinner. You could explore a recipe, explain what ingredients are, talk about quantities and how you measure them, identify hazards in the kitchen. The great thing about learning is it can take you on a journey even within your own home and you can pick and choose what you do based on children's interests.