I have a fantastic picture to share with you. This captures the heart of emergent, organic literacy development in action. At Abundant Life, I use emergent curriculum, which means that everything I offer the crew grows out of what they are already interested in – I don’t impose lesson plans of my own creation on their work unless my ideas were sparked by theirs, and in those cases, I rely on careful observations to see how my ideas are received. I have bailed more than once on what I thought would be a good idea for the sake of preserving the child-directed quality of my program. A group of children had created a play scenario with a baby tiger family, but was having a hard time keeping other children quiet so the baby tiger could sleep. I offered to Cadence the option to make a sign, that others might not know that the tigers are trying to sleep and a visual reminder might be the solution. We worked together to make this sign.
Can you read it? It says, “BABY TIEGR SLEEPING”
I read recently in Einstein Never Used Flashcards that written language is one of the only things that is orientation specific. For instance, if I show you a picture of an apple, and it is turned upside down, you still know it’s an apple, right? An upside down apple does not indicate an orange, and orientation does not hinder my decoding abilities. Enter language, and you have one of the first cases where orientation matters. A “b” or a “p” or a “d” represent different sounds, even though they are made up of the same shapes oriented differently. I am fascinated to see this unfold. As children learn to write, they frequently place letters in any order and in any orientation as they learn the rules of language.
By the way, Cadence was prouder than proud to share this with her family. Three cheers for organically embedded literacy development! Happy Thursday, all!