Concept Books for Young Children

They use their cognitive and thinking skills as a way to become literate. Teachers can use concept books as a way to teach these early literacy skills. One way to use these books is to read to the classroom and have discussions about the book. Children quickly learn new words expanding their vocabulary so that they can improve their communicate skills. explained that another way to utilize concept books is to use them “to introduce ideas, serve to reinforce concepts, or to add further information to a topic children have already explored through direct experience” (2008, pg 147).

Lastly, since the children are unable to read, most concept books contain pictures with the words. By using the pictures teachers are ale to help children make the connection that words have meanings and represent something specific like a particular shape, color, number, or letter. The components of a good concept book should have enjoyable story that encourages conversation.

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It should be well illustrated with pictures that properly represent the words being used. It topic should be engaging and interactive for young children to follow. Not all concept books are appropriate for young children.

These stages are the sensorimotor (birth to 2 yrs), preoperational (ages 2-6), concrete operational (ages 6-11), and formal operational (11 yrs thru adulthood). Children in the preoperational stage are starting to learn about concepts of conservation, seriation, and one-to-one correspondence. Concept books about numbers, counting, and sizes help to introduce children to these skills. Another goal of Piaget’s preoperational stage is that “the child now has the ability to symbolize objects with words, to use words to refer to objects” (Lerner, 2002).

Also during early childhood, a child’s vocabulary develops extensively. Carlson explained that “ritualized dialogue, also referred to as scaffolding dialogue and turn-taking in vocal exchanges, is a simple and undeviating game in which the adult and child take turns verbally” ( n. d. , pg 14). Teachers can use ritualized dialogue with concept books to develop open-ended questions that encourage classroom involvement and conversation. One effective concept book I found that is helpful was The Alphabet Book by P. D. Eastman and the publisher is Random House.

This book is a fun way to introduce children to the alphabet. It has a funny story that rhymes and contains bright illustrations that appropriately represent each letter. The teacher can create a one-to-one correspondence activity can be used to extend the concepts in the book. The teacher can copy the pictures from the book. She will trim them out and laminate them for durability. Then she will laminate each of the alphabet letters. After reading the book, the teacher can hang the alphabet in order on the board at the children’s level. She hides all the pictures inside a bag.

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