Every book you have at home is a tool for learning and development.
How can you use Eric Carle’s “The Grouchy Ladybug” at home as a learning tool, from an educator’s perspective. As both a mom and a teacher, and this is what I do with my own children and recommend for everyone at home!
Using “The Grouchy Ladybug to Develop Language
Reading to your child as often as you can will help support their literacy as they get older, and remember the early you start the better, but it’s NEVER too late to start!
For young babies and toddlers one great activity to do while reading is to read the lines from the story, one page at a time, then point at the picture, and identify what is in the picture. Have your child find the things from the lines in the story, and make the connection between the story and the picture. Do this as much as your child’s attention span will allow. Some kids will have you looking at the same picture for several minuets while others may be rushing to the next page to see what happens next. Remember, this should be fun for your kids, not work!
After you have read the same story a few times you can change up your questions. Start asking your toddler to find certain items in the pictures, instead of identifying what’s in the pictures. This turns into a find and seek game with any story. “Where is the stag beetle?”… “Can you find the yellow jacket?”… “Where is the whale?”… “What does a lion sound like?” Every time they find something encourage them with praise. These are great memorable moments that will instill that love of learning and love of reading.
Using “The Grouchy Ladybug to Build Literacy
Children are naturally creative and love to mimic adults. Sometimes it’s not always about “reading” as it is helping kids understand the importance of reading. Even before you child can read, ask them to “read” the book to you. You child will retell you the story as they remember it, or even make up a new story using the pictures. This is GREAT for building literacy skills. Take turns reading the book back to each other, and your child will start to pick up on the words on the page vs. what you say. Even show them the words you are reading by pointing to them when it’s your turn to read.
Read the story as many times and as often as your child wants to read it and that time allows. Remember, more is better in this instance, but make sure it is fun!
The power of Art in Literacy
The first instances of books for kids has pictures for a reason. These colorful and decorative pages help stimulate your child’s brain while listening or even reading through the story. The pictures can help clue a beginning reader to an unfamiliar word, or even inspire imagination. Let your child become inspired by their favorite stories by asking them to draw their favorite part of the story. Write and trace “L” and “l” over and over for “ladybug”, as part of a themed day or week.
Using “The Grouchy Ladybug for Social Emotional Development
There’s nothing better than turning a book into a fun discussion. Kids love to give their opinions. Here’s a list of questions and topics I find helpful when teaching social-emotional skills.
Talk about what the word “grouchy” means.
Talk about how the ladybug could be nicer.
What words could the ladybug say? W
Why is the ladybug is nicer at the end of the book?
How does being nicer change things?
What do you do when you feel grouchy?
What makes you feel grouchy?
Why do people feel grouchy?
What makes you feel better?
What can we do to be kinder to others?
When we feel grouchy what can we do differently?
Do you like people who are nice or grouchy?
What are good ways to tell someone you need time to feel better?
Talk about strategies and tools they can use to help them feel better when they are sad, mad, or grouchy.