Excellent reading habits begin in the early years. Introducing children to literature in preschool supports kindergarten readiness, promotes early literacy and supports a love of language and reading. A preschool library corner is a distinct area of the classroom with a variety of board books, picture books, early readers and comfortable seating. Create a preschool library corner in order to promote critical thinking skills and to enhance creative and social development.
Early Literacy Skills
Provide a variety of educational books in a preschool library corner to promote early literacy skills. Alphabet books in a preschool library corner help children learn the names of the letters and the sounds that each letter represents. Counting books help children learn how to count and to recognise numbers. Provide poetry or rhyming books to teach children phonological awareness. Stock the preschool library with oversized books as a tool to teach preschoolers how to handle books and to point out letters, words and other features of the book.
Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
A library corner helps the preschool teacher foster critical and creative thinking skills. Read both fiction and nonfiction books to preschool children and then allow both free and focused discussion. Ask questions that help children relate the story to their own lives. Help them compare the book with familiar books. Encourage children to predict what might happen next. These activities also help children use words to express themselves and their preferences.
Having a preschool library corner provides a place for exposure to group reading activities. This helps preschoolers acquire social skills. Read books to groups of preschool children to help them learn to pay attention in a large group. Group reading activities also help children learn to share and take turns with peers. Encourage children to share books and take turns reading stories to each other.
A preschool library corner supports school readiness by improving literacy and listening skills. When children enter kindergarten they should know concepts related to books such as how to hold and turn the pages of a book and that the pictures are related to the story. They should know some nursery rhymes which are found in preschool books. Preschoolers entering kindergarten should also have the ability to identify letters visually. Exposure to books in a preschool library corner enhances these skills.
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