Early Literacy Skill-Building with The Questioneers - DuPage Children's Museum

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Early Literacy Skill-Building with The Questioneers

January 13, 2022

Early Literacy Skill-Building with The Questioneers

By Rebecca Strang, Children’s Services Librarian at Naperville Public Library

Storytimes at Naperville Public Library are filled with stories, songs, action rhymes and games. While young children are listening and participating in storytime activities with their grown-ups, they are practicing early literacy skills through five main channels: singing, talking, reading, writing and playing.

Often, storytellers at the library pick a theme or concept to build a storytime around or try to create a thread of ideas from activity to activity to create a fun, immersive experience.

To celebrate the launch of DuPage Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit, ‘The Questioneers: Read. Question. Think. PLAY!’, we have put together the following storytime guide that families can use with The Questioneers book series written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts.

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez makes plans for Citizen's Park while friend Ada Twist, Scientist shows her support.

Book: Sofia Valdez, Future Prez

Read: Notice how your voice falls into a bouncing pattern as you read each pair of rhyming lines. Pick a few lines and have your child repeat them.

Sing: At the Park – this song goes to the tune of London Bridge. Singing songs that go along with familiar tunes helps children build rhythm and pattern recognition – even as the words change, if they know the tune they can still hum along until they learn the words.

Talk: After singing the song, talk about things you enjoy doing outside and why Sofia Valdez’s campaign to clean the environment is important.

You child sits in a chair reading the book 'Ada Twist, Scientist' written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts.

Book: Ada Twist, Scientist

Read: Read the book aloud and point out rhyming words. Start by pointing them out yourself and move toward prompting your child to pick out the rhyming words after you read a pair of lines.

Play: Gather some household items to invent new objects! How can paper towel rolls be used to create a snack delivery system? How can a peanut butter container be turned into a piggy bank? What other things can you build using things around the house?

Talk: The last page of the picture books in The Questioneers series gives insight to the inspiration behind each character, whether the character is based on an idea or a collection of real people. Read the note from the author and talk about how the character inspiration comes through in the story. If the character was inspired by a real person, talk about the inventions or social campaigns the person was responsible for and how their work still affects the world today.

Aaron Slater, Illustrator with pencil in hand, stands in front of a Mural he created.

Book: Aaron Slater, Illustrator

Read: Many books use illustrations in addition to words to tell stories or share ideas. Look at the illustrations in this book and “read” them together. How do the illustrations work together with the words to tell a story?

Write: Come up with a three-sentence story and then have your child illustrate it. Then, do the reverse! Illustrate a story your child writes. Do not worry about creating masterpieces – this is a quick exercise that can be done repeatedly. Drawing is a fun activity that helps build the fine motor skills required for writing, and this exercise illustrates that both drawing and writing are forms of communication.

The Questioneers book series is available for checkout in a variety of formats (book, e-book, e-audiobook) at all three Naperville Public Library locations.