Pick: How to Teach a Slug to Read
How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Peaerson
This is actually a book about teaching young readers, but, it is cleverly disguised as a children's book. The pictures are darling and the message is oh so important. The book engagingly teaches some of the most important steps and rules for interacting with beginning readers.
- Put written labels on the favorite things of the reader-to-be. For the slugs, this is vegetables. For children it might be food or toys.
- Rhyming and repetition are essential. Mother Goose covers both topics very well.
- Readers-to-be need to see what is being read. Sometimes (but not always) point out the words you are reading. As you go from left to right, children begin to understand the "direction" of reading.
- Emphasize sounds so that the reader-to-be realizes that words are sounds put together.
- There is vocabulary that a reader-to-be can only obtain through books that are read to him or her. Ask the reader-to-be what his/her favorite words are from a book.
- This rule is easy for readers-to-be, but hard on parents. However, it must be followed. Read a book/poem, etc. as many times as he/she wants. This can be many, many times and perhaps even a few more times after that. The payoff will come years later.
So read this to your slugs if you have them, but definitely read it to your young children.
Mary Wilmes is a library assistant at Half Moon Bay Library. She has never taught a slug to read. She can however still recite many books from memory due to the many times her child said "Read it again" and she complied. He is now a good reader and a lover of books.