This is a “wild blue flamingo” according to my three year old granddaughter. Or at least it was until I spoiled it all by telling her and her sister that it was called a Great Blue Heron. But…”wild blue flamingos” is an amazing construct based on experience – and I believe it is a key ingredient in literacy and the ability to read well.
This post came about as the result of one of Janet Lansbury Facebook posts and a blog post about school readiness by Teacher Tom . I appreciated his comments – because I had tried to “delay” reading with my own daughter. She was just too determined to wait – and caught on very, very quickly.
Literacy is more than just reading words on a page. Well chosen words, carefully crafted into sentences and paragraphs have the power to create a picture. Our ability to enter into that picture is determined by the ability to join our experiences with the authors intent and enter into the story more completely.
By giving our children and grandchildren a rich set of experiences – touch, taste, feel, sound, emotion, we create not just readers but the connection of two minds. I think this is pretty cool. Nature walks, new foods, textures, art, painting, cooking…. all these activities lead to better readers!
When my grandchildren meet a heron within the pages of a book – they will know what they are reading about. They have seen, heard and watched them. They have made a connection between the flamingos at the zoo and this wild bird that shows up while we are walking.
This is a bit of a ramble – but an important one I think. I too am a reader and so are you. You may have the opportunity to speak into the lives of people who do not yet read. Save the ABC’s for another day. Give them and yourselves the gift of experience, of knowing, and later they will engage with the printed word with all their senses engaged!
Enjoy your books!