"Long before children learn to read the words they'll find in books, they learn to read the world. In this sense, learning to read is learning to make meaning of life. Children are natural researchers, searching for meaning in all their interactions. The quality of the meaning they make from their environment is strongly influenced by the relationships they form with people, animals, objects, ideas and the special places that they explore, visit and revisit."
This past week while revisiting our story workshop process, children delved into the dynamic process of sharing their thinking, creativity, and connections through story. By providing opportunities for play to foster literacy, we are allowing children to employ their natural learning strategies: engaging in play, imagination ,and games and using story to create meaning and see relationships.
The experience of developing a story, sharing it with others, and having it heard and connected to by peers is fundamental to the process of children seeing themselves as authors. These rich experiences and interactions with one another provided children with a natural and meaningful way to understand story structure, develop vocabulary, and explore the bottomless wells of their own abilities and imaginations.
This week we have enjoyed the rich and varied stories that children have found within themselves, through our small world and loose collage areas. The connections they are making with one another, listening to each other and discussing each other's stories, has shown us how much value there is in providing opportunities for children to dwell in their own agency. The development of a substantial literacy foundation is unmistakable when children are reading the world and making meaning through relationships and connections.
"If you want to be my friend, I will give you my heart."
- Louise (finding a story through song)
-Ms. Emily, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher