Early Literacy Spots in the Wild

In spring, we are wild about our new early literacy spots. These displays help promote language and learning, and transform the library into a learning environment.

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One of our more popular spots is a column that acts as a giant ruler. This spot encourages children to use a tool of measurement and to evaluate relative sizes.  Each season we come up with different objects against which children can compare their size. This spring we chose pictures of wild animals. We used:  an ostrich (8’), yak (7’), bison (6’), polar bear (5’), lion (4’), komodo dragon (3’), coyote (2’), and a fox (1’)

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Need a captive audience? There’s no better place than the bathrooms! We have two family bathrooms in the children’s department. While little ones are squirming or waiting for their siblings to finish, I created two displays to get kids and grown-ups talking and thinking.

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Over in the Meadow

I love imbuing the environment with text. In this spot, I simply placed a stanza of the traditional rhyme, “Over in the Meadow,” with a photo of the animal appearing in that particular verse. I chose photos over illustrations to help children connect the natural world to the story.

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Animal Homes

This is a simple matching game where children are encouraged to identify which animal belongs in a particular animal home: a tree, cave, or burrow. I included pictures of a bat, bear, rabbit, gopher, monkey and a squirrel. My hope is to encourage dialogue between children and adults about animals and the world in which they live.

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