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Saturday, January 13, 2007

developing prediction skills

After making us read her books in repeat-mode every time we get her a new book, TJOML amazes us these days with her grasp of the book!

We've been reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for quite a while now, so, she knows what's next. I start reading and pause a bit:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?
I see a ...??
And TJOML immediately fills in "Theeth" (Tweet) - her word for bird, which is on the next page:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?
I see a Red Bird looking at me
Then, when we read:
Red Bird, Red Bird, What do you see?
I see a ...??
She chips in with "Dhuck" (Duck), which is of course the next one:
Red Bird, Red Bird, What do you see?
I see a Yellow Duck looking at me

Well, you get the picture. She really enjoys predicting which animal is next.

Similarly with her Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear? book, she knows what's coming next. This shouldn't amaze me so much, except that the animals are sort of exotic in this book (well, OK, she doesn't know that yet...) like: flamingo, boa, leopard, peacock, walrus and such. So when we pause at:
Leopard, Leopard, What do you hear?
I hear a ...??
TJOML looks at me with a twinkle and anticipation, saying, "Peacock", it just makes my day! She used to say "Pee-thop" for Peacock all these days when we were looking at her book from India which has pictures of peacock in it; and it seems like overnight, she has started saying, "Peacock" pretty clearly, just like that!
Leopard, Leopard, What do you hear?
I hear a Peacock yelping in my ear
The words used for describing the animal noises are quite charming: growling polar bear, snorting hippo, fluting flamingo, braying zebra, hissing boa, trumpeting elephant, snarling leopard, yelping peacock, bellowing walrus...

Her current favorite is Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? book that we've been reading to her since yesterday. ("Poopa Bay, Poopa Bay" as she calls it)

(Aside: I couldn't resist. I loved the first Eric Carle illustrations I saw in Brown Bear book, and just had to get the other two: Polar Bear and Panda Bear ones. They are just incredibly beautiful).

The animals here again are endangered species: bald eagle, water buffalo, spider monkey, green sea turtle, macaroni penguin, sea lion, red wolf, whooping crane, black panther.

It could be a bit confusing for a 21-month-old toddler with limited vocabulary: she knows lion really well, so what's a sea lion? it doesn't really look like the lion she knows. She is quite familiar with tortoise, so, she looks at the green sea turtle in this book and insists it is a tortoise (am OK with it for now, she'll learn in good time)...

By the time she is 3 years old, I am sure she will start understanding it better and appreciating it better. At least, I hope so.

Meanwhile, she has started telling us what comes next for quite a few of them in the Panda Bear book of endangered animals, and I am completely bowled over - I know I shouldn't be... I mean, children are wired to do exactly this. So, this is nothing special, except it is to me :)

And, am glad books like these make it easy for me to help her develop these essential skills.

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