Each Friday, the kindergarteners in Josh’s class enjoy the delightful company of a guest reader, typically a grandparent or other family member, and all to further the timeless and communal benefits of sharing a story. The Hummingbirds practice their listening, hone their active imaginations, and react to the wonderous process of performing a good book. Last week, Adeline’s grandmother, Christy Cressey, read A Home in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, author of such classics as Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. Christy engaged the group with sound effects and shifting tones, while the Hummingbirds modeled ‘kind listening’, replying to questions, and imagining themselves as characters in the story. Then, as happens each week, Josh followed up with questions and an activity for the class. In this case, as a ‘thank-you’ to Christy, the students each made a picture of the type of animal they’d like to be if they lived on a farm. Josh framed the concept in terms of empathy and design, stating, “Imagine your drawing before you make it. What does your home need? What do you need to stay warm in the barn?” Answers came back, both from the context of the book and via larger inferences: “Walls. A warm corner. Straw. Hay. A cozy bed.” One student needed to step out for a moment while Josh was offering his guiding questions; wonderfully evidencing their kindness and listening skills, the larger class then calmly and accurately described to him what he had missed when he returned to the room. The new tradition of the Friday Read naturally stems from, and furthers, the EMS value of familial associations among students and staff, and it’s great to see multiple generations invigorated by the pure enjoyment of our youngest students.
We’re All Storytellers
Oct 28, 2019