Category Archives: author school visits

Best-selling children’s author, literacy blogger, and longtime education consultant visits elementary schools, preschools, and early childhood centers around the world! Babs is author of 100+ books and classroom materials and 350+ poems and songs for kids, parents, and educators. You ask…she comes to engage every child, teacher, administrator, and parent around her passion for 360 degree literacy! Babs gets everyone on the same page for EVERY child to love language and be ready to love print as successful readers and writers! Yes, no child gets left behind when you enlist Babs’ help in your school. She’s full of zest and practical, doable ideas! Check out Babs’ blog to view a video of Babs at work on 5-29-09 when she made a full-day author visit with the Lilac Elementary School Lizards (students, parents, staff) in Valley Center CA!

What’s old is new again — even when it comes to garbage.

“Oh, the places you’ll go. The people you’ll meet.” Hey, it’s Dr. Seuss!dr seuss bio pic

And it’s THINK-THINK-THINK-ing Thursday!

Dr. Seuss would have liked joining us today, I THINK. Ya know, I should have asked him a few years back when he and I were shaking hands during autographing sessions for his and my books at adjacent tables. Ah, he’d like to THINK-THINK with us. I just know it.

WOW! A week flies by. We’ve gone places, done things, and met people. And as a week flies by, so the garbage piles up.recycle green pic

Okay, you may be in a mood such that right now you’d like to take that “garbage piles up” figuratively. But for some moments today, let’s THINK on it literally.

WOW! The recycling cans are full again!

And that thought leads me to THINK about the fact that I have seen our society’s concern for recycling…well, recycle itself. We’ll cycle back to that idea idr seuss cat in hat picn a bit here.

THINKing about recycling takes me to ways for you and your child to THINK and talk about recycling today. I’ll offer some writings to share with your child from toddler age to teenage.

It was in the late 1980’s and early 90’s when I first began to write about recycling for children’s needs and interests. As a visiting author and consultant, I traveled to school districts around the country.

Communities across this country were focusing on the benefits and how-to’s of recycling. We needed, folks said, to look for ways to reuse all sorts of our resources, both natural and manufactured.

Folks wanted their children to learn early on to THINK about our planet’s need for humans to do less tossing out. This meant that recycling became a hot topic in elementary schools. And publishers, writers, editors, and illustrators recognized the corresponding need for appropriate textbooks, library books, and classroom materials.

recycle logo picI and others began to include the topic in articles for textbooks, in poems, and in all sorts of children’s books. I began reading and reciting some of my writings about recycling each time I met with student and educator groups.

Children and teachers responded enthusiastically to any and every mention of recycling. Thus, I included “Earth Says” in a Poetry Works set of classroom materials with posters that, still today, grace classroom walls in schools here and abroad.

“Earth Says” also appeared on a bookmark. Then, I included the poem in my More Phonics through Poetry: Teaching Phonemic Awareness Using Poetry, this time to help children focus on the sound of a prefix before reading and writing its letter representation re-.spinning Earth pic

Earth Says
I’m giving you oodles of cues
To reduce, recycle, reuse.
It’s time to refuse
The choice to abuse
Or lose your freedom to choose.

Copyright © 1989 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Poetry Works: The Second Stanza by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (Modern Curriculum Press/PearsonLearning, 1993).

Younger children’s enthusiasm for “Gobble, Gobble, Munch!” saw this poem published similarly in another poster kit, with a second appearance as a picture book. The poem was later included in a poetry collection that’s housed in homes, schools, and public libraries around the country.

Cover GobbleIMG_2648

Gobble, Gobble, Munch! by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

inside Gobble IMG_2654Gobble! Gobble! Munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
What will you be serving
on your street for lunch?

Don’t serve me paper!
Don’t serve me cans!
Don’t serve me metal
or aluminum pans!

Don’t serve me plastic!
Don’t serve me glass!
I would rather munch on
egg shells or grass.

Gobble, gobble, munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
What will you be serving
this garbage truck for lunch?

Copyright © 1991 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Poetry Works: The First Verse by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, (Modern Curriculum Press, PearsonLearning, 1992).

Times change. Interests change. And some time during the late 1990’s, I began noticing that the idea of recycling was not resonating with whole schools of children. That word was no longer on the tips of children’s tongues. WOW!

recycle earth picWearing my teacher hat, I continued to read and recite “Earth Says” and “Gobble, Gobble, Munch!” with nearly every group. Now, however, I needevintage red dress picd to follow up the readings with real teaching…to lead children toward an understanding of each poem’s context. Often I’d ask adults in the room if the community recycled. No, they didn’t. Hmmm.

Times change. Interests change. And just in these past few years, I’ve noticed that recycling has recycled itself! WOW! Whole schools of children are again versed on the word and its concept. Children tend to know about the need for and the how-to’s of recycling.

Yes. Items get recycled. That we know. I hope you and your child will have some fun naming such items in your home. Today and every day.Cool Cat pic

And then you can do some oral sorting out to exclude those items that may be biodegradable. Yes! Do make sure to use that big word with your child from age 3. Because children find that big word fun to say! And I promise you’ll soon hear your young child saying the word while sorting recyclables! WOW!

Aside from items and the concept of recycling, itself, lots of ideas and behaviors get recycled. THINK and TALK with your child recycle logo2about how fads and fashions come and go. TALK about hair styles, “cool” words that cool kids utter, or potluck dishes like the ones I tasted at a pool party last week. Hmmm. Those recipes from the 70’s struck folks of all ages––right here and now in 2009––as being mouth-wateringly new!Daddy-o pic

I leave you today with thoughts of recycling…items, fads, foods, behaviors, what-have-you. Enjoy your day of THINKing and TALKing about recycling with your child! While you’re at it, try recycling fun together with an old toy or book or game.

And tune in here tomorrow for a bit more about recycling…and some Free-for-All Friday frolicking fun!


Leave a comment

Filed under adult literacy programs, ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, author school visits, community involvement toward building children's literacy, comprehension skills, early literacy, ESL / Bilingual, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kids, kids of all ages, parenting around kid behaviors, parenting poems, phonemic awareness / phonics, poems for kids, read-aloud, science, social studies

How to have grace when your child says “gwace”. (Hint: Poetry comes to the rescue.)

It’s TALKing Tuesday! But, you say, you TALK with your child every day.

Yes! But on TALKing Tuesday, we focus on a particular way to talk…to help your child build his/her personal storehouse of language and knowledge. Why? Because those are the two critical pre-requisites for success in reading and writing. WOW!

Graceful Gracie Gratefully Grinning So, on this TALKing Tuesday, we’ll begin by harking back to a post one day last week here when we met one of three Gracie ladies I know. There she is, grinning gratefully with her grinning smiley-face basketball.

I’ll pause here a moment to give a real shout-out to this Gracie lady since she’s my dear mother…and since she’s likely the reason I am a writer today. You see, I grew up watching her read the daily paper each morning at the breakfast table…where she’d also pen a letter every day to some one of our many far-off relatives (Some lived just ten miles away, but that was far away in those days!).

I also share today that bit of personal backstory because I want to emphasize to you the huge importance of modeling for your child. WOW! Your child is always watching! So, model reading for enjoyment! Model reading to learn new information! Model writing notes, lists, letters, what-have-you!

Gracie grinning gracefully!

Gracie grinning gracefully!

And you’re also getting to meet the other two Gracie ladies today. We’ll pause here to give a big shout-out to young Gracie, a rising 1st grader whom I met while at Lilac Elementary School in Valley Center CA last month. Our third Grace, grandmother Grace Viola Smith 1883-1944of Lilac Elementary teacher Jeri, lived in 1883-1944 and resided in areas of Indiana and Illinois.

WOW! Wouldn’t you agree you’ve just met three Gracie ladies who are full of grace!

Okay, I’ll bet you’ve figured out by now our TALKing focus for today. Yes, it’s to focus on the sound of /gr/ as in grin or Grace. So let’s look at a couple of /gr/ poems that you’ll want to read aloud to your young child.

When you help your child focus on repeatedly hearing and saying a particular sound of language, your child is building an awareness of that sound. This phonemic awareness practice prepares your child for phonics, when we ask the eyes to read and the hands to write letters that represent that sound.

So, read aloud and then reread these three poems to help your child build oral awareness of the sound of /gr/. Then we’ll look at a couple of fun ways you and your child can play with the sound of /gr/ today and every day this week, or longer.

By the way, as long as your child is engaged and having fun, it’s never too early to introduce individual sounds orally. And you’ll find your child who’s older than age 8 will enjoy the humor and the repeated sound in these poems. When in doubt, try it out. Your child will let you know if you’re on track…or off.

Growing . . . Graying . . . Gone!Phonics Through Poetry by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, available at
My sister groans,
“My hair won’t grow!”
My mother groans,
“It’s gray!”
My grandpa grins,
“Be grateful, Folks.
Mine grew and grayed . . . away.”

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Phonics Through Poetry: Teaching Phonemic Awareness Using Poetry by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books.

Grins or Groans?
When Gregory loses
and Gracie wins,
Gregory groans,
but Gracie––she grins.

When Gracie’s the loser
and Gregory wins,
then Gracie’s the groaner
while Gregory grins.

When Gregory wins
and when Gracie—she wins,
Then nobody groans!
And everyone grins!

Copyright © 2004 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. First time published.

And a third poem to emphasize the sound of /gr/!

This next rhyme is from one of three poster sets titled Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme. I designed these classroom kits to give children easy rhymes to sing or say while building phonemic awareness skills, and then to be able to call upon a familiar little song when, in phonics, they meet the sound’s corresponding letter(s) in print.

Yes, in these kits there’s a poster and a new rhyme for every sound in our language! And all can be sung to familiar tunes, “Miss Lucy Had a Baby” or “Eensy Weensy Spider.” When using the latter tune, you’ll notice, the song begs to be sung again and again.

This particular /gr/ rhyme keeps with our sound focus today to help your child notice the sound of /gr/ in words. It also builds on your child’s ability to discriminate between sounds, in this case between the sounds of /gr/ and /gl/.

Listen covers

Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme

I hear this sound in grapefruit

I hear this sound in grapefruit,
Grandpa, groom, and grass;
And grandma, grapes,
And graph and grill,
But is this sound in glass?

Copyright © 2000 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
From Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme: Blends and Digraphs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. The Wright Group/McGraw Hill.

More Fun with the Sound of /gr/

As you and your child journey through your busy days, occupy yourselves to challenge one another to name words in which you hear the sound of /gr/ as in grin. Later, add to the challenge to name two or more /gr/ words, such as green grass or graceful grey grandpa, that go together to make sense.

A behavior-managing tip: Try substituting your child’s name in the Grins or Groans? poem when you sense a groaning loser or you want to help remind a winner who may be grinning in a…well, bragging sort of way.

And remember: The more you and your young child play orally with a sound of language, the more success your child will experience later in reading and writing words that include the letters gr. WOW! Have fun with language sounds!

Tune in tomorrow on Wacky Wednesday to see what turns up being all wacky!

Leave a comment

Filed under adult literacy programs, ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, author school visits, community involvement toward building children's literacy, comprehension skills, early literacy, ESL / Bilingual, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kids, kids of all ages, parenting around kid behaviors, phonemic awareness / phonics, poems for kids, read-aloud

It’s Free-for-All Friday w/Babs! WOW!

Hey, it’s Free-for-All Friday. (Sorry! I posted this last night, or so I thought. Guess it got delayed somewhere on the spinning globe of cyberpace.)

So let’s do a take-off today on one of those What if...ideas from yesterday’s discussion.

Okay. What if…what if there were peaceful people everywhere? WOW! What a peaceful thought! WOW! What a peaceful world we could have!

Peaceful People
What do peaceful people do?
They use kind words.
They’re honest, too.
They don’t begin to fight or shout.
They talk to work a problem out.
Instead of acting mean or mad,
They talk to say they’re feeling sad.
They look for ways to help someone.
They don’t hurt others with a gun.
I like what peaceful people do!
I’m learning to be peaceful, too!

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
from Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. Copyright © 1999, 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Peaceful Me is endorsed by Sarah Brady, Chair, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Washington D.C.

Peaceful Me is endorsed by Sarah Brady, Chair, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Washington D.C.

So, where does peace begin? Hmmm.

Regardless how one might answer that question, today’s Parenting 4 Literacy tip (for kids of all ages!) offers to you and your child some nutritious food…as in peacefully powerful words…for thought and TALK.

Yes! For kids of all ages! And today’s tip also builds on your child’s LISTENing skills. Those listening skills are critical for success in reading and writing…and for all of learning!

So here’s what you do…as one way to help peace live in your home! WOW!

Ask your child today…and every day…two questions:

  • Question #1: What kind words did you hear today?

Then listen to your child’s response.

A tip: It’s helpful with any age child to follow up with words like, “So you heard these peaceful words today: [words your child said]. WOW!”

Then go on to encourage your child to talk a bit about why those words felt peaceful to her/him. To do this, you might ask, “How did it feel to hear those words?”

I should mention here that your child may turn it around to pose to you that same question. WOW!

Or, depending on your child’s age and mood, it may take several days of your modeling before you’re put in the witness chair.

Either way, when this same conversation seems ripe for new input, go on to ask the second question.

  • Question #2: What kind words did you say today?

Again, you’ll want to listen carefully to your child’s response so you can follow up with words like, “WOW! So you said these peaceful words…[repeat the words your child said]. WOW!”

Peaceful Tip: That double “WOW!” there? It lets your child hear how happy you feel to hear that s/he spoke such peaceful words today.

Be at peace!Now ask, “How did it feel to say those peaceful words?”

Gosh, just look at all the productive conversation the two of you are having! WOW!

No more of those going-nowhere attempts to communicate with your school-age child, including your high schooler.

Yes, you’ll recognize this all-too-familiar parent-child Q&A:

“So what happened at school today?”

Yes! Productive conversation is now happening in your house. And guess what? You now have a definitive answer to my earlier question:

Stop! It's a garage sale!“So,” I asked you. “Where does peace begin?”

And now you know! WOW! Peace begins in your home!

And, with daily peaceful practice of this particular Parenting 4 Literacy tip, peace will not only live in your home; it will extend far beyond.

Yes! Peaceful words will be heard and spoken wherever you and your child are! WOW! Double WOW!

With repeated practice, extend this activity to ask your child…and yourself…how the other person might have felt when saying or hearing you say those peaceful words.

By the way…ff your child is not yet talking, you two can have this same powerfully-peaceful conversation!

I know you’ll recall my recent tip to ask and answer your questions. Your child is always LISTENing…and learning how language works!

Hey, tune in on Funday Monday for some garage sale fun! I hope to find time to check out a few garages in my neighborhood by then. Anyone else love shopping at garage sales?

I picked up that interest during my childhood. How about you? Click on the word comment below this post…and tell all!

Leave a comment

Filed under adult literacy programs, ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, author school visits, community involvement toward building children's literacy, early literacy, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kid safety, kids, kids of all ages, parenting around kid behaviors, peaceful kids, poems for kids, read-aloud

WOW! THINKing Thursday w/Babs!

There's the web...but where's the spider?It’s THINKing Thursday already. Time to THINK again. Good thing we only do this THINKing stuff once a week!!!

So, what if one of those spiders we saw on Monday’s post…well, what if that spider could talk?

I did some THINKing one day on that very question. And here’s one result from all that THINKing: “If the Spider Could Talk”

"If the Spider Could Talk" by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (from Reading Realm's Poetic Play products)

"If the Spider Could Talk" by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (from Reading Realm's Poetic Play products)

You know, your young or older child will enjoy this exercise in THINK-THINK-THINKing.

This kind of THINKing is one of the tools your child calls upon when asked to write.

Yes! Whether writing a piece of fiction or non-fiction, your child must begin to THINK of all the many angles from which to view the chosen topic.

And then choose one to write! WOW!

Ready to do a bit of THINK-THINK-THINKing aloud practice with your child? Yes, it’s called thinking aloud. And this thinking aloud activity is not only fun; it’s valuable practice for your child.

Okay. Let’s follow the model of my “If the Spider Could Talk” poem. Here we go!

What might a ceiling have to

What might a ceiling have to

Think about this: What if a ceiling could talk?

Would it be saying, “Hey! You down there! Can’t you be a little quieter. I’m not one of those acoustical types, you Poetic Play's "Spider" item (back). Available at Quiet down!

Or might that ceiling be begging to have people stop painting it? WOW! What other words might a ceiling want to say…IF it could talk?

Or what if a chair could talk?

Might your chair want to say, “Take it easy! That bottom of yours is awfully wiggly today. Could you just sit still! Goodness sakes! You’re liable to break me into pieces! Then we’d both be sprawled on the floor!”

Okay, how about one more what if to help you and your child get going in this kind of creative THINKing mode.

What if…what if…what if our planet Earth had nothing but peaceful people? See…there’s a powerful thought for your THINKing child of any age. And for you?

What would all those peaceful people have to talk about? Makes me think of some poems I’ve penned about peaceful people.

This one works with kids of all ages, especially if you add a What might it say...if it could talk?little attitude and rap it:

Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. Copyright © 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully Copyright © 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Who’s the Boss?

Who’s the boss
of my tongue
and my hands
and my feet?
Who’s the boss?
Who decides
how they’ll act
when we meet?

I’m the boss
of my tongue
and my hands
and my feet.
I’m the boss!
I decide
how they’ll act
when we meet!

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
from Peaceful Me by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Your child will enjoy saying and dramatizing this poem with you. Try changing the pronoun in the first stanza from my to your as you ask each other the question.

For your child up to age 10 or 12, talk about why someone is the only boss of their own tongue or hands or feet. And what happens if the “boss” isn’t supervising properly?

Peaceful people everywhere!

Peaceful people everywhere!

On another day, invite your child to take turns with you to act out a kind or not-so-kind way a tongue, hands, or feet might act.

Tune in tomorrow for Free-for-All Friday. And do remember you can scroll down on any day’s post to access previous posts.

Or check out previous week’s posts in the “archive” to the right of the posts column.

And can click on the word comments at the bottom of any post to add your own or your child’s thoughts and comments. Or to ask questions.

Or to provide info, as Dena did on Tuesday to share those wild animals’ names. Or…

…just to say hello!

Leave a comment

Filed under adult literacy programs, ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, author school visits, community involvement toward building children's literacy, early literacy, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kids, kids of all ages, parenting around kid behaviors, peaceful kids, poems for kids, read-aloud

It’s Wacky Wednesday w/Babs! WOW!

NEWS FLASH! Step back a few days to last Thursday’s post.

Read along and then click on the pictures link. You’ll then be better able to connect to Peacock Dena’s comment on Tuesday’s postHmmm...Dena & python and Babs. WOW!

Here’s her news!


I was the Lilac mom dressed up like a peacock. I have the names of the animals. Tega lizard named Tyrone; Capachin monkey named Mojo Jo Jo; Hedgehog named Casper; Ferret named Mercedes; Burmese Python named George of the Jungle; Chinchilla named Dusty; Parrot named Genral Confussion.

Thank you for the great web site!!!


Thank you, Dena, for helping me hold that heavy snake! And to you and your animal-dressed parent-team for all those enticing foods on that jungle lunch buffet!

And hey! It’s good to have all the real names of those wild, wild animals…along with their “stage names.”

WOW! Today is Wacky Wednesday already!

And though I’d promised that we’d be meeting three young ladies named Grace today, I have to report that two of those three aren’t quite ready for their pix to be posted.

Gracie grins!My mother Gracie, however, was captured on camera when she did what she always does whenever there’s a smiley face around. Gracie grins!

So it was a grateful grinning Gracie when she received this smiley basketball a couple of years ago.

And Gracie’s grin, along with Smiley’s grin, begged for a camera’s snap.

Know what? Gracie uses that basketball! She even put up her own goal!

It's a basket!This week, however, Mother Gracie is grinning between groans. Most unfortunately, she fell, broke a hip bone, and had her second major surgery this year.

But I could already hear her grinning over the phone today! On her way to recovery. WOW!

So she can bounce and throw that ball into the hoop!

Wish her well, won’t you!

So, when the other Gracie ladies’ pix come in, then we’ll circle back to have more fun with the sound of /gr/. That’s for another day in the near future.

But, today’s is Wacky Wednesday. So let’s do more sound play with words, like Wacky Wednesday. Words that begin with the same sound. It’s called alliteration.

And it trains ears and tongues to the sounds of language.

WOW! Go ahead and call it by that long name…alliteration…whenever you hear it: Bouncing basketball. Weeping willow. Wonderful Wednesday. Creepy Crusty Crud.

Take it to the hoop!Have fun modeling how to simply make up two or three words that begin with the same sound. Then call out that sound.

Note I said, “call out that sound that makes words alliterative.”

Yes! Even with your child as young as 2 or 3, hearing an alliterative phrase like grateful grinning Gracie, wants to get noticed as being special––and not just because this grinning Gracie happens to be my mother, either!

No, do call out that repetitive sound. Doing so models listening for words and phrases that sound special.

Not the letter or letters that represent that alliterative sound. No!Focus on the sounds! Not the letters!

We’re not stopping to recognize the letters with a young child. And maybe not with an older child.

That is, unless that child of yours is already confidently whizzing through those books from school and is grinning when reading is mentioned and is relishing free time to curl up for some pleasure reading.

Right! Point out the sound to your child. Listen for the alliterative sound!You are modeling. And modeling. And modeling. And being patient.

Patient because your child will show you when you’ve modeled enough. You’ll know because your child will begin calling out alliterative sounds being heard!

Yes! Only when you are positive s/he can respond successfully, will you be expecting that your child will call out an alliterative sound.

WOW! Very important literacy tip there. If a child dreads reading, it’s generally because reading is such hard work that the child feels prone to failure.

Who among us ever wants to fail!?

So you the parent (or any citizen spending time with any child!) will want to spend lots of time engaging children in rich conversation.

Why? Well, during such conversation, you two can focus on specific oral skills. Yes!

Gaining oral mastery––that’s what’s happening. Just like in today’s fun with calling out alliterative sounds in wacky phrases or not-so-wacky phrases! book opening pic 4

And yes! It’s a very important reading skill that leads toward successes in decoding (reading) and encoding (writing)!

Such conversations also make learning feel all wacky and fun. Plus…those conversations you have with your child help you realize far more…

WOW! You are “connecting” with your child!

Yes! Nobody loses. Everybody wins!

Tune in tomorrow for THINKING Thursday. Till then, enjoy getting wacky with words!

1 Comment

Filed under ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, author school visits, community involvement toward building children's literacy, early literacy, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kid safety, kids, kids of all ages

WOW! Just another TALKing Tuesday w/Babs? Not!

No, today, on TALKing Tuesday, I want to invite you and your child to play a game. It’s the Sentence Sense Game™.

You can play this game wherever you are. You need no tools. Just the two of you!

Yes! Your child will be learning to make sentence sense while also learning to use nouns and verbs.

And you two will be having good conversation as you play this game. WOW!

That’s what makes TALKing games so much fun.

Sentence Sense Game is  a trademark of Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz.Reminder: This TALKing game, like all talking games you gather from this blog, helps to prepare your young child to be the best reader possible.Learning to be that super writer!..and the best writer possible!

Hey! Another fun aspect? This is a game where nobody loses.

Yes! Everybody wins! And even your 2 yr old can play. WOW!

Okay, to play the Sentence Sentence Game, you’re going to speak in complete sentences.

As your child gets really good at this game, you can add challenge to include sense sentences, like “People talk.” and “Pencils write.” and nonsense sentences, like “People fly.” or “Cups walk.”

Little Books of Nouns by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Little Books of Nouns by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books, 2001.

But guess what? Every sentence in this game will have a noun and a verb. Because that’s the game’s goal…to make Sentence Sense.

So, sensical or non-sensical, you two will be making a whole lot of Sentence Sense. WOW!People fly?

Ready? Set? TALK!

You begin by modeling for your child. You say a sentence, such as “Cats climb.”

Then say, “Hey, that’s a sentence and it makes sense!”

For your child aged 5 or older, you may choose to add, “Cats is a noun that names something. Climb is a verb that shows action.”

For your younger child, though, just leave out all that noun and verb stuff at this point. Your child’s skill with Sentence Sense will tell you when it’s time to add any kind of extra challenge.

Continue to use the same format as you model another simple two-word sentence that make sense, such as: Kids play.

With young children, it’s helpful to emphasize the fact that each sentence you are saying is just two words. You can make that emphasis by tapping a surface twice as you say each of the two words.

Little Books of Verbs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Little Books of Verbs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books, 2001.

Or point to one finger and then a second finger.

Using the same format, model more two-word sentences that make sense.

Be sure, though, to model just one example at a time. Wait a bit, before you model another.

Here are some two-word sentences you might choose to use: Mom eats. Door shuts. Rain falls. Phone rings. Dinner cooks.

And remember, there are no losers in this game. So, if your child doesn’t catch on today, that’s okay.

Try it again tomorrow.

And the next day.

Then, if not today, then one day very soon, your child will be playing this game with you!

Yes! Following your model to say two-word sentences. And every sentence will have a noun and a verb! WOW!

Hello?If your child is 5 or older, challenge one another to speed up. Keeping your sentences limited to one noun and one verb helps your child truly focus on what a noun is. And what a verb is.

Bet your child will offer up some new and unique two-word sentences. WOW!

Oh, and for your infomation, your younger child is likely to repeat a sentence you’ve already said.

And that’s just fine. Following your good modeling is never a bad thing!

WOW! Play this simple two-word Sentence Sense Game several times a week.

The benefits to your child…and you…will, well, make nothing but good sense! Have fun!

And tune in tomorrow on Wacky Wednesday to have more fun…with the sound of /gr/ as in growing grey (seriously?). Gosh, I wonder if we’ll meet grinning Gracie or groaning Gracie!

(WOW! That shout-out’s intended to say “Hi Gracie!” to two little ladies I know named Grace…my dear mother for one…and Gracie, a Lilac Lizard kindergartener I met in CA recently…and a third Grace who’s Lilac teacher Jeri’s late grandmother. Hey, if you know more little ladies named Grace, won’t you click on the words “No comments” below here and tell me about your special Gracie lady. And send a picture if you like to Don’t forget to include a note of permission for me to post the pix here. Imagine it…lots of grinning–or groaning–Gracie ladies!)

™Sentence Sense Game is a trademark of Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz.

1 Comment

Filed under ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, author school visits, early literacy, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kids, kids of all ages, parenting around kid behaviors, poems for kids, read-aloud

It’s another Free-for-All Friday w/Babs! WOW!

I’m still THINKing about that hog’s life in yesterday’s post. And here’s why. There’s a pig on a page in a book. And that pig is having some bed rest.

Bed Rest by Babs Bell HajdusiewiczOn this Free-for-All Friday, I have thoughts of needing some bed rest.

Truth is, I’m sorta under the weather today. WOW! That thought takes me to a delightful conversation with a 4 yr old yesterday in which I used that figure of speech “under the weather.”

Gotta love young children’s literal interpretations of figurative language!Whoa! Let's stop to read the words!

Well, puzzled Joshua turned his eyes toward the sky. And you can predict his next utterance:

“Huh, Ms. Babs?”

Now, in lieu of explaining my meaning, I merely tucked into our conversation the words that I have a bit of a cold and am just feeling under the weather.

I kept on tucking in new information to help this young fellow gain meaning without my playing the role of a talking dictionary.

No. What I sought was to model use of the saying so that Joshua could seamlessly claim it as his own.

Language he could use whenever he wanted to make a point in his own conversation.

So I went on to say how I literally have a cold. And I said that colds just don’t feel so good. And that, figuratively speaking, I was truly feeling under the weather.

Yes! We can use such big words, like literally and figuratively, whenever and wherever they fit into everyday conversations with a young child.

Well, Joshua’s facial expression now spoke volumes to his mother and me. WOW! No question. His family and friends will be hearing him use that same idiom…very soon.

WOW! It's a hog's life! Look at it! A piggy nap!

from Bed Best by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, illustrated by Mary Ann Zapalac

Oh, what a powerfully interesting TALKer he will present for some listener! WOW!

To be sure, I tucked into that same short visit, and in similar fashion, how this 4 yr old was just pulling my leg when he exclaimed how he could climb that nearby wall just like Spiderman. Hmmmm.

Joshua went away from our little chit-chat with two new figures of speech tucked into his pocket for later use. WOW! New language. New knowledge.

Fact: 4 yr olds are especially-unique LISTENers and TALKers. They relish figuring out how language works!

Anyway, my feeling sorta punky today started my THINKing about the Bed Rest book and that hog’s life as we explored it in the “A Hog’s Life” poem yesterday.

And then I remembered this pig pictured on the first of eight pages in this little book for infants to 1st graders.

WOW! It’s a piggy nap!

And he’s hogging the whole pen, too!

from Bed Best Copyright © 1996 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, illustrated by Mary Ann Zapalac

from Bed Best by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, illustrated by Mary Ann Zapalac

But wait. There’s more we can do with any little book like this. That’s why I urge you to “milk” each read-aloud selection to its fullest.

Face it. If you’ve chosen well, you’re going to be reading that book or poem or story again and again.

So let’s explore more ways the two of you can extend your fun literacy jaunts once you’ve read this particular book aloud a few times.Read it again!

Notice the girl and her teddy on the cover of Bed Rest. Well, what if you’re reading to a boy? Or what if your listener’s favorite sleeptime-cuddly is a blankie? Or a stuffed rabbit?

Just glue onto the book’s cover and on the last page correspondingly-sized photos of whatever bedtime-lovey is favored in your house.

And similarly personalize those pages with photos of your listener’s face.

And for some Focused Talking™ around this story’s language, how about taking “piggy naps” like that pig on a page there! Or call on yesterday’s poem about “hogging” spaces whenever you or your young child is feeling crowded.

WOW! The power of a book…and its language! WOW!

P.S. Hey, Lilac Lizards and your parents and teachers, can you name those real wild animals who visited your school last Friday? Did you see the animals in the pictures posted yesterday? Click below to comment. Do tell!

Focusing Talk/Focused Talking is a trademark of Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz.

Leave a comment

Filed under author school visits, early literacy, family literacy, kids, parenting around kid behaviors, poems for kids, read-aloud