If you work with young children, take a moment and think about your space. Where are the books? Are they in a cozy reading corner? Think about when books make an appearance in your day. Is it just when you need a “calm down” time? During transitions?
Using books in those instances are a great teaching tool for children. You are showing them that books can be a place of escape and that they can be used to calm yourself in moments of chaos.
But….is that the ONLY place books are? Is that the ONLY time books come out? If so, then you may be unintentionally sending another message. You may be showing some kids that books are always meant to be read quietly, by yourself. Or worse, that books are something like a punishment that they “have” to do when they are “too wild” for other options.
So, keep those times and those places for books. Help kids learn that books are a refuge and a transition tool. But, also let the books come out to play.
Putting books of architecture in the block corner teaches them that books can be an inspiration. Cookbooks in the play kitchen show they are a tool that helps you do a task. Fact books about their favorite animal lets them know that when they are interested in something books can help them learn more about it. Comic books or graphic novels show them that pictures can tell elaborate stories. Books on tapes, times for them to read aloud, active books with movement and silly words teaches them that books can be as fun and as silly and as active as they are.
The place that you give books in your learning space sends a message for the role books can play. What are you saying with yours?