Encouraging literacy for Cody has been a challenge. Lacking the rich visuals from all the interesting and beautiful children’s books there are takes away from the experience. Not only are pictures compelling, but they also offer so much information for the reader about what is happening in the story and also teach concepts to young children about activities and objects and people they might not get to experience first-hand. For Cody, the lack of visuals means that both his understanding and his enjoyment are compromised.
There have been many ways his teachers and family have tried to compensate. We try to pick books that relate directly to activities or concepts Cody has had experience with and is currently learning in school or at home. We choose books with textures, patterns and rhymes. We have created experience books; collecting items from hands on experiences Cody’s had and adhering them to pages, adding braille and binding them together. We have exposed him to audio books with animated story-tellers and musical accompaniment.
Another good idea which I hope to do more of with Cody is using story boxes. Story boxes include a collection of items found in the story to be explored while reading.
Cody and I had some fun last night trying a storybox while we were reading one of his favourite books, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. Cody is very familiar with this book, I’ve read it to him many, many times. Overtime I’ve added more and more of the components of the book into a story box.
When the mouse takes a drink with a straw and wipes his face with a napkin, so does Cody!
When the mouse starts sweeping in the story, so does Cody!
When the mouse gets tired, fluffs his pillow and cozies himself under a blanket, so does Cody! (he likes this part!)
And when it’s time to draw a picture and stick it on the fridge, so does Cody!
Next time, if Cody’s lucky…he’ll get a cookie too!