The article, “How Reading Books Fosters Language Development around the World”(Dickinson et al., 2012) reviews research regarding learning language. As discussed in the text, environmental factors are a major component to languages development. Out of the six principals which the authors outlined in describing the environmental factor, three are included in this book. One of the factors incorporated in the story is that children learn words when they are interested. I attempted to incorporate this theme by the use of rhymes in my story. Another principle that I used states that children learn best when adults are responsive to them. In order to encourage parental interaction I added a few optional questions which may foster a conversation about the story. Lastly, I included the principal of keeping the story positive. The positive premise of the story, being friendship and love, acts as a way to keep children engaged and interested.
How Books use these principals:
- “Where the wild thing” engages in one of the primary principals being described of making sue that the child is interested in order to encourage vocabulary growth. The book is centered around imagination. The main character, Max, is sent to bed without dinner, but just as he falls asleep his room turns into a forest where he meets ‘the wild thing’. This premise is relatable for children. Every child has experienced being punished, therefore, it is easy to imagine the mindset that max was in when he was sent to bed. As a result of the the story being relatable, the child is engaged in the story and is likely to learn the vocabulary being presented. Furthermore, there is a positive message at the end of the story. At the end of the story Max starts to miss his mom. The message being that it is okay to be punished, at the end of the day your parents to not punish you to hurt you but to encourage you to learn a lesson.
- “If you give a mouse a cookie” the first principal used in this story is repetition. Most of the sentences in the story have the same structure “the mouse will ask for..” This repetition allows for the words to make a significant impact for the children. Furthermore, having pictures to illustrate the meaning of the words helps opposed to an adult directly telling what a word means. For example, the second page of the book the mouse asks the boy for a glass of milk after he gets the cookie. The picture then shows the mouse standing on the sugar jar with his hands on the rim of the milk cup and the mouse is looking into the cup. This illustrates exactly what the mouse is asking. Lastly, it is relatable to children because it shows an unlikely friendship and is about cookies which children enjoy.
- “The very Hungry Caterpillar” shows the emergence of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The primary principal being used in this story is a clear message. The message of the story is the importance of nutrition on growing and developing. Therefore, children are learning new vocabulary as well as how the new words relate to their development.