The next section of the booklet provides practice in rhyming and matching words by their initial sounds. Completing the booklet are pages for practicing the numbers 0-9 and for dictating phrases or sentences to the heading "What I want to Learn in School." On the last page, continuing on to the inside of the back cover is a second alphabet chart. This one, however, includes directional arrows, indicating for each letter the correct stroke order for printing.
See the Play on Paper Activity Booklet.
Once filled out, the booklet can be used for a number of classroom activities. The All ABout Me! and A Picture of Me pages can be used to introduce the children to each other and to point out something special about each child in the class. (Included here are name, birthday, hair color, favorite thing to eat, favorite thing to drink, and best friend.) The pictures that the children draw of themselves can be tacked onto a bulletin board with each child's name entered below his or her picture. Alternatively, the children can try to guess the person who matches each picture.
The last page in the booklet, "What I Want to Learn in School," can be used at various times during the school year. At the beginning of the year it can help initiate discussions about what happens in kindergarten. Later in the year and at the end it can be used to check on whether everything the children wanted to learn had in fact been learned. This is a simple way to allow the children to become partners in the learning process.
"My favorite Stories" can guide your choice of stories to read to the class as well as form the basis for discussing stories after they are read. A class story chart could be constructed for a bulletin board by xeroxing an unfilled "My Favorite Story" page. (You might change "I like this story because" to "We like this story because," however.)
The alphabet pages along with the alphabet chart scan be used over several weeks or months to introduce and practice the alphabet. Although pages are provided only for Aa, Bb, and Cc, magazines and newspaper ads and headlines can be cut out for teaching the remaining letters. Both the alphabet chart that pulls out and the chart given at the end of the booklet with directional arrows for drawing each letter can be used for teaching how to print the letters. The children might begin by learning to print their own names. Then, different children's names can be used to introduce most of the letters. The remaining letters can be introduced through the alphabet song or other common techniques.
The rhyming and sound matching pages introduce important sound activities that should be extending and repeated. Rhymes are generally easy for kindrgarten children, both for recognition and for production. Songs and poems can be used to emphasize rhyming, as can common rhyming games. Sound matching is usually more difficult and requires careful sequencing and repeated practice. If the children have difficulty with the booklet activities, use real objects to introduce the concept. Place in a box a ball, book, bag, and a bottle, mixed together with a map, marble, mitten, and mug. Ask a child to begin by selecting an object from the box and saying its name. This object is placed on one side of the box. A second object is then selected and its name said. If the new object's name starts with the same sound as the first one, the two are placed together; otherwise the second object is placed on a different side of the box. Children continue to draw objects, say their names, and then place them with other objects whose names start with the same sound.
After this is done successfully a number of times, switch to full color pictures of familiar objects, selecting to give two different initial sounds. Play the same game, sorting the pictures into two piles. The, switch to black and white outline drawings and finally to spoken words without picture props.
The number page can be used to initiate counting and number identification. Children can cut pictures from magazines to make their own number collages like are done on the Numbers page.
Activities forReading and Writing Fun may give you ideas for additional reading and writing activities, especially for kindergarten and grades one and two. You may want to send copies of this booklet home with children who are having difficulties in reading and writing, with a note for the parents on when and how to use it.
If children are encountering PLAY ON PAPER for the first time when they come to a library program, they might start by dictating answers to All About Me, and then drawing A Picture Of Me. Alternatively, if insufficient help is available for writing, the booklets might be given out at the end of the first library session with a request that the parents, older siblings, or other adults help the children in the home, and then the booklet returned at the next session.
Brief activities between stories can be constructed from various other pages in the booklet. Children can act out letters, generate rhymes, match names of objects in the room by their initial (or last) sounds, and count numbers of objects in pictures or in the room.
Additional reading and writing activities for children from preschool age to grade six can be found in the Activities for Reading and Writing Fun booklet. For preschool children, focus on activities built around reading stories and talking about the characters and action.
For kindergarten children, story activities as well as activities involving printing of letters and numbers are appropriate.
For children who are already reading, use activities that center on books, magazines, and newspapers that the children select for reading. Introduce them to different types of books and magazines and show them how to find each type in the library. Encourage independent reading.
For preschool children through sixth graders, select activities from the Activities for Reading and Writing Fun booklet. Set aside a special time each day, perhaps just before bedtime, for reading stories and doing other reading and writing activities. But don't forget to suggest these same activities on rainy days and on other occasions when your child cannot go outside to play.
Remember to use rhymes and word play as often as possible with your child. Make up silly phrases with each word starting with the same sound: a slippery, silly slidingboard, two tangled tugboats, big, bossy boots, and so on. Ask your child to invent his own silly phrases.
Keep an alphabet chart in your child's room from about age four on. Practice the letter names frequently. Encourage your child to print the letters (and numbers).
Encourage relatives and friends to bring books and magazines as gifts for your child. Get a library card for your child as soon as he or she reaches the minimum age for such a card. Visit the library regularly.
Use the newspaper to encourage reading. Start with the comics as soon as your child shows an interest in them. Help your child follow the sequence of action and read the balloons, if necessary. As your child learns to read, gradually introduce other sections of the newspaper, especially the TV and radio schedules. By grade 3 children should be able to read these.
Above all, be a good reading-writing model. Demonstrate good reading and writing habits. Show how you use the newspaper to check on the daily weather and on shopping specials. Read interesting articles and headlines aloud. Keep reference books in visible location-s-dictionary, atlas, cookbook, etc. Mention to your child why you are using these and how you use them.