Building Language for Literacy Teacher's Guide
- Grades: PreK–K
Building Language for Literacy is the definitive early literacy program that equips young children with the critical language and literacy skills and experiences they need to build the foundation for success in reading.
Based on the latest research on early literacy development, Building Language for Literacy features original language-loving characters who inspire and motivate learning. The program is built upon children's home and community experiences to create meaningful connections, and provides you with the tools you need to create a literacy-rich environment.
The original characters created for Building Language for Literacy are:
Nina the Naming Newt
Reggie the Rhyming Rhino
Leo the Letter-Loving Lobster
Each character leads children on a language adventure to different places in the community, helping children not only develop language skills, but a sense of the world around them, as well.
Naming With Nina
Nina loves words, so she names everything she sees! She will help children name different objects in some familiar (and maybe some new!) places in and around town.
Rhyming With Reggie
Reggie loves to play with sounds, so he rhymes every chance he gets! He will help children pick out words that sound alike, so children develop an awareness of patterns in language.
Letter Recognition With Leo
Leo loves letters, so he spells whenever he can! He will help children match letters, so they become familiar with not only the shape of letters but the connection between letters and the sounds they make.
These games are great for not only extending the lessons appearing throughout Building Language for Literacy, but also for helping any children develop their oral language, phonological, and letter knowledge skills.
Learning Experiences and Objectives:
By participating in the Building Language for Literacy Language Adventures, children will:
- develop vocabulary skills
- distinguish different word sounds
- recognize letter shapes and sounds
- enhance their understanding of the community around them
- learn to follow oral directions
- learn to categorize familiar objects
How to Use the Activities:
The Nina, Reggie, and Leo language adventures can be used without teacher guidance. Each character prompts the child to choose a setting, and then the game begins. The settings for the language adventures match the places used in the Building Language for Literacy curriculum:
Children can move back and forth between character games and settings. The objects in all the games are randomized so children never play the same exact game twice. Here is how you operate each game:
Naming With Nina
If the child chooses to start a language adventure with Nina, their first screen will prompt the child to choose a setting. Once a setting is selected, the child hears directions on what to do. For her game, the child must drag objects that belong in the chosen setting to a box at the bottom. Each time an object is clicked on, the child hears its name. The challenge is that not every object on the screen belongs in the chosen setting. The "distractors" will challenge children to really think about which objects belong in a particular setting.
Rhyming With Reggie
If the child chooses to start a language adventure with Reggie, their first screen will prompt the child to choose a setting. Once a setting is selected, the child hears directions on what to do. For his game, the child must match object names that rhyme. Each time an object is clicked on, the child hears its name. Distractors will challenge the child to listen for the names that rhyme.
Letter Knowledge With Leo
If the child chooses to start a language adventure with Leo, their first screen will prompt the child to choose a setting. Once a setting is selected, the child hears directions on what to do. For his game, the child must match free-standing letters to the beginning letter of object names. Each time a letter is clicked, the child hears the name. Each time an object is clicked, the child hears the name. The letters and objects are again randomized and there are distracters added for a challenge.
Using These Games with the Building Language for Literacy Curriculum:
If you use the Building Language for Literacy program in your classroom, here are some quick tips for using these language adventures to supplement the curriculum:
- After you finish a unit with your class, brainstorm a list of all the objects they can think of that you would find in that place. Show Nina's Word Cards for that unit to reintroduce the objects there. Then introduce the Nina game, and challenge students to find as many of these objects as they can.
- Before introducing the Reggie game, sing one or two selections from Reggie's Song and Poem Charts in a unit, choosing those which emphasize rhyme. This will help acclimate children to similar sounds.
- The Leo game is a perfect extension from working with Leo's Alphabet frieze. As you move your fingers (or a child moves his or her finger) across the letters, challenge them to name one or two objects that begin with that letter. You might let them trace the letters as they say each one, to commit the shape to memory.