If you don’t already have “ Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? My First Reader ” for your young child, you are missing out on a great teaching tool!
First, I am not exaggerating when I say that every Kindergarten classroom has this book.
Having taught Kindergartners and First graders (in a regular classroom setting, not only homeschool), I know first hand how this simple, little book can help a child make great gains in reading and phonics.
What makes it great?
1. Colors: This book teaches colors in an easy, not so busy kind of way. Very easy for young kids to pick up.
2. Repetition: ”What do you see?” and “I see a _________ looking at me.” repeats in every page. Young children will eventually memorize it. And if you’re being a good teacher, like I know you are, you would have been pointing at the words as you read them. Your child will be proud that they can “read” those words with you!
3. Sing-Song: This book can actually be sung! There’s even a Brown Bear & Friends CD that you can get. And children LOVE songs, right?
4. Simple Pictures: Sometimes books have too many distracting pictures. This one has none of that. Simple pictures highlight the sentence, animal, and colors that it’s super easy for little ones to understand and quickly learn to “read” on their own!
5. Predictable: Because of the repetitive nature of the story, it’s also very predictable. Predictable books are great tools for teaching young learners about story sequence and critical thinking skills.
6. Short, Grammatically Correct Sentences: Reading and grammar should always go together. This book uses short sentences without compromising correct grammar structure. And the sentences sound conversational – as opposed to weird, choppy ones like “See Spot run. Run Spot, run!”
7. Engaging: The author chose animals that average young children would be familiar with. This makes the book engaging because they already have some background information on those animals in their book!
How to read this book with your young child.
Step 1. Parent reads the whole book aloud while pointing to each word.
Step 2. Encourage your child to read at the same time you read. In other words, parent and child reads (and points) together.
Step 3. Parent reads “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” Child reads, “I see a ________ looking at me.” Repeat taking turns this way.
Step 4. Parent and child take turn reading every other word.
Step 5. Child “reads” on their own.
***Obviously, depending on your child (and time), you will spend a shorter or longer amount of time in different steps. The point is, you don’t have to just read by yourself over and over again. There are different ways of reading that will teach and engage your child. Shake it up! It’s fun!
Well, I hope you liked this first book review of mine. Most of all though, I hope it helps you make reading more fun (and productive) with your child. =)