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Turtles and Reading.
What’s the connection?

Posted on: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

We collect turtles!  Big ones, little ones, glass, ceramic, metal, wood, plastic, and fabric – even some made from seashells.  Hundreds of them and, no, we no longer remember when or why it all began.

As our family grew, so did the many games we invented for our grandchildren that were turtle oriented.  We counted, sorted, ordered by size, etcetera. Whenever a grandchild visits, especially the little ones, a turtle usually ends up being played with or taking part in a game.  We’re as entertained watching them as they are playing with the turtles and inventing games of their own.

Well, we just got the ultimate phone call.  Our daughter called and told us that our two-year-old grandson was “reading” a book about turtles, pointed to a picture of a turtle, and said “Nana.”  Besides getting a laugh out of this it also told us that, although he doesn’t realize it, he’s learned something about reading.  No, not even the reading teacher’s grandson is reading words yet, but, he used his background information to make a connection.  One of the goals of reading is to make connections between what’s being read and background information that’s already known.  This leads to inquiry and broadening one’s knowledge as well as reinforcing the desire to read more.  He made the connection between the picture of the turtle in the book and the turtles he plays with at Nana’s house.

After I told this story to my husband, I said that I couldn’t wait until he “reads” a book about dinosaurs and says “Pop-Pop.”  Pop-Pop wasn’t amused.

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