Picture books are a great way to support conversations with children, with the added benefit of focusing in on key schema-related vocabulary. Through read alouds, they can hear the words used in a sentence, supported by visuals and illustrations that add meaning. As well as this, carefully selected books reflect the children’s interests, giving value to their actions as well as facilitating personal connections. A child with a rotational schema, can see the characters in a story reflecting their interests, as words like spinning, twirling and turning are used. The child who is curious about enveloping, has an opportunity to explore this through books with flaps that hide away objects and characters; while ‘I Spy’ books allow for reveals, as objects are found!
Now it’s time to start connecting appropriate stories with the play behaviours you are seeing in the learning space. Here you can get a head start! Our ‘Books to Promote Schema Play in Early Years’ resource is ready for you to explore and choose from, as you continue with your multi-faceted approach to responding to observed play!
A few tips to consider when sharing stories to enrich vocabulary development:
- Emphasise key vocabulary as your read, allowing children time to absorb new words.
- Encourage children to use their new words to describe what they see happening in the pictures.
- Use some of the illustrations to inspire provocations that you set up in the learning space.
- Invite children to caption their own schema play photos, using their new words.