Reading with Generation "Why?"

In the "Making it Work" unit, workshop participants rolled up their sleeves and played in the water. They made aluminum foil boats and experimented with sinking and floating objects in activities designed to drive home the science concepts introduced in Pamela Allen's "Who Sank the Boat?"

"Learning is about processing what you've just experienced," Anderson explained. She elaborated saying it's not enough for children to have an educational experience. For real learning to occur they must have to opportunity to talk about that experience.

The final unit in the Mother Goose Asks "Why?" program focuses on "Growing and Changing." Hands-on activities for this unit include sprouting a bean plant and watching a tree to see how it changes over time.

"Kids are interested in growing and changing because they are growing and changing and the world around them is growing and changing," said Anderson. "Everything alive grows and changes and when you grow, you change."

At the Mother Goose Asks "Why?" workshop, participants were afforded the opportunity to grow professionally, as they learned the skills needed to help bring the program to families in their own community.

"I look forward to working with our families using the books, the activities, as well as having conversations with them about how to use them with their children," one program participant commented. "Our parents will love this!"

The workshop was provided by Vermont Center for the Book's Mother Goose Programs, funded in part by the A.D. Henderson Foundation. The kits provided in conjunction with the program include the picture books Albert's Alphabet by Leslie Tryon; What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins; Jody's Beans by Malachy Doyle; and Now I'm Big by Margaret Miller. Kits also include a Mother Goose Asks "Why?" Family Activity Guide, a set of science bookmarks (with information and booklists on each, along with the process skills of science), a set of foam shapes for making patters, a packet of seeds, a magnifying lens and a collection of small toys and other items called the "Sink & Float Collection" for sorting and floating experiments.

For more information, or to find out how to bring Mother Goose Asks "Why?" to your community, see www.mothergooseprograms.org or call the Vermont Center for the Book at 875-2790.

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