A Reggio-Inspired Project Connecting Literacy and Social Development
A good friend is kind and caring. If a friend falls down then a good friend helps them up and hugs them and tells them that everything will be alright.
Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. While the ways that we hear and tell stories have changed, the importance of language and literacy through storytelling remains the same. Storytelling acts as fuel for the fire of literacy in a child's development.
When our girls hear a story they love, it may inspire interest in learning more. Stories tend to be exciting in the best way possible and can encourage our girls to read more stories and eventually write them, too. Storytelling teaches children the elements of a story, helping them organize and plan their own story's beginning, middle, and end.
Since we all have stories to tell, we feel that the art of storytelling must live in our classrooms. We want our girls to be strong, confident, imaginative storytellers who share their stories. During our morning exploration time, many stories come alive.
Our goal is for the girls to have many experiences that may invite them to tell a story. Whether working independently or alongside a friend, we want the girls to express their thoughts while we help them organize their ideas into a story.
Written and Illustrated By:
Mrs. Rounder and Mrs. Sowell's JK Girls
Once upon a time, there was a little witch named Alice. She had curly hair and a long nose with a bumpy wart. Her eyes were shiny like the stars. Alice had a little girl named Anastasia Rose. She was a cranky little witch. Anastasia Rose was also not a very good friend. She didn’t share her toys with anybody. When she was around other little witches, she only wanted to play her games, and she forgot to include everyone. Alice decided it was time to send Anastasia Rose to school so that she could learn how to behave. She knew the perfect school to send her. It was called Friendship School.
On Halloween evening just as the sun was setting, Alice and Anastasia Rose jumped on their broomstick and headed up into the cloudy, foggy, rainy sky. The meteorologist predicted tornados, so the ride was very bumpy. After hours of flying, they landed right in front of Friendship School. Once they were inside, they were ushered to her new JK classroom. She was a little nervous about being in a new place. Inside the classroom, she met 12 little witches. In the days that followed her new little witch mates taught her all about how to be a good friend.
After many days at Friendship School, Anastasia Rose began to see that she was not acting very nice. Thanks to her 12 little witch friends, she learned how to be the very best friend and Anastasia Rose lived happily ever after.
A Reggio-Inspired Project Focusing on
As a social studies extension, we pulled in maps of Memphis. Research shows that spatial thinking is one of the most important skills that children can develop as they learn about our Earth and environmental science.
Map reading and map making are important skills as they help us learn about the distance of two places. Maps also help us learn to estimate distances between places. Because maps are smaller scale representations, teaching our girls to read a map helps them develop the ability to see different perspectives.
During our study, we explored maps of our community. We noticed roads, interstates, land, water, and different landmarks on the maps of Memphis. Using black pens and colored pencils, the girls had so much fun playing with the maps. The activity invited rich conversation for the girls and allowed them the opportunity to share the things they know.
Is this the airport right here? That's how I am getting to Disney World. This is the way we are driving to drop my car off.
Look, here is Chick-fil-a right by Hutchison. I can see the grass on the map. -Mary
This is the interstate. I'm going to draw a line to Nashville. Now we need to go back to Memphis. Oh! We passed Chick-fil-a. Let's stop here. -Reid
I see Germantown, Tennessee. That's where I live. -Ruthie
Let's take the interstate to New York!
Now I'm going to travel all the way back to Germantown because I want to go home. -Ruthie
I live on Gwynne Road. Is that it? Yes! That's it. -Reid
I see the roads that will take me home!
As our project continued, we tasked the girls with building a community. At the heart of our project was the idea of featuring the girl's favorite places in our community. We wanted this to be their community so that they would take ownership of the places we highlighted in our community. Look closely at our Memphis...it's our favorite!
There are so many houses.
Yeah, It's because it's a neighborhood.
I have a neighbor. She lives next to my house. She's really nice. Sometimes when Reid kicks a ball over the fence, she gives it back.
My neighbor has a pool and a swing set. It even has a playground too!
We need trees in our neighborhood...and roads! Let's connect all of our houses together . I will draw the roads between the houses.
We need a park too! Look at my slide...and my swings. I love going to the park.
My neighborhood has a round circle that we take walks on. Sometimes I take my water bottle and sit next to the tree....and I can climb the tree too.