I'm an English teacher, so of course my sons have a mountain of books. Still, I know that having books readily available is only part of the process of making life long readers.
The other thing I know is that texts aren't the only way kids acquire ideas about story structure, plot and character development. With both my toddler and my eighth graders, I acknowledge movies and TV shows as means of practicing prediction, inference and analysis, just as they would with serious literature.
Or maybe I'm just trying to justify my son's daily dose of Curious George.
To further assuage my mom-guilt over screen time, I've been trying to add enriching tie-ins to his Curious George obsession.
The other day, we headed to See's Candy as a way of recreating George's trip to the chocolate factory. At least this Curious George story was actually from a book, but there's also a television episode about George selling candy (why do they let the monkey touch people's food? Do they know where his paws have been?)
The bonus of this literary tie-in: free samples. If you live in or are visiting California, this is an important piece of knowledge-visit See's, get a delicious sample.
I didn't do this (she says sheepishly), but asking him to compare and contrast the candy shop we visited with the one in the book (or the TV show or both!) would have made the trip more cerebral. Even just simple recall questions-what was George's favorite candy? would have beefed up the brainy side of the trip. I guess I got distracted.
Today, we decorated his door with circles a la the doors in the clown school George visited in an episode we watched. The one wherein he goes to see Pepe Loco, if you're curious (see what I did there?).
I'm not sure who's enjoying these tie-ins more-he or I, but what I'm hoping is that he is seeing stories come to life and that this will make him love literature as much as I do. Or at least love See's as much as I do.
Stay tuned for more literary or "literary" inspired adventures and activities!!