Over the years, I’ve worked with students of all ages, from primary grade kids right up to graduate students. Picture books were a common element in everyone one of my classes. Why? Because I believe picture books have power. A well-written picture books offers rich vocabulary, meaningful content, beautiful art and background knowledge in a short format. Along with all these (and many more) perks, picture books build confidence.
When the ability to read and comprehend doesn’t come easily, students often doubt their intelligence and ability to learn. Parents and teachers need to join forces and find ways to head off waning confidence and motivation. The accessible format of a picture book can become a powerful tool in your quest to help a struggling child.
The previous post discussed how background knowledge positively affects comprehension. There are fictional and non-fictional picture books available on every possible topic. Explore the possibilities and begin to expose your child to the wealth of information available. No one is too old to appreciate and learn from a picture book. If you know your child will be studying a certain period of history, scientific concept, famous person or event, head to library and bring home picture books on that topic. Read them together if possible and discuss their content. Building familiarity with the topic will enable your child to feel more confident (and probably much more interested) when this topic comes up in the classroom.
Worried about the lastest “project” assigned? Again, picture books can ease the process. Don’t let your child rely solely on information from the Internet, but show him that picture books deliver information in a concise and interesting manner that is often easier to comprehend than dense text. Remember the power of picture books and watch your child’s confidence soar.