Written by Jaimi Bird, M.A. CCC-SLP
Books are powerful! They give knowledge, they spark imagination, they transport us to another time and place. Books help children grow. All children should know the joy of reading.
As we “March” into Literacy Awareness month, we want to ensure that all children have the opportunity to share in our love of books. There are many reasons some children may not be spending as much time as they should with print. Some things parents have confided in us include. . . “my child has too much energy, I can’t keep their attention to sit and listen to a book”, “it is too frustrating and too much work for my child” or even “my child doesn’t like to read or listen to me read”.
One wonderful way to include children of all abilities and ages in reading is through the use of adapted books and books with props. Modifying books is an easy and fun accommodation that is great for children who are just beginning to be introduced to books through lower elementary level comprehension.
If your child isn’t “interested in reading” don’t expect your child to sit still and just listen to a book. Young children are ACTIVE learners. Often times, kids have short attention spans and they need to MOVE! We can make literacy interactive and fun with adapted books and sensory books with props.
Adapted books are just as they sound, they are books that have been adapted or modified in some way to engage the reader and make reading more accessible.
Adapted books . . .
. . .are repetitive in nature. A repetitive line in a book allows children to anticipate what is coming next in the story and allows for increased retention of information.
. . . give children an opportunity to participate in reading. When a child is taking an active role in reading by taking a turn moving a prop or by using their senses as part of the story they are engaged and interested!
. . .provide visual support for new or important vocabulary. By adding a visual support with pictures, new and important concepts and vocabulary are highlighted and more likely to be recalled. You can print symbols, scan book images, or use graphics from the internet that match the words in your book. Creating visuals that match your book promotes understanding of the story sequence.
. . . give sensory input and connections to the story. Providing multi-sensory opportunities allows children to connect with the story in more ways than just by hearing it. Adding props that go along with your story makes the story richer and more meaningful.
. . . stimulates large and small motor movements. Movement and physical activity is crucial to brain development. Allowing children to move their bodies while using adapted books increases their attention, comprehension, recall, and fun!
At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our mission is for every child to reach their God-given potential. We love to make learning meaningful and fun! Check out these blog posts to see more examples of adapted books we have created. Here are instructions on how you can adapt the book Pete the Cat. Here and here are some more examples and ideas for you.
Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
740 Community Drive, Unit A
North Liberty, IA 52317
5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300
Johnston, IA 50131