Welcome to the February Virtual Book Club! This month our spotlight author is the great Dr. Seuss! I went back and forth on which book to use, so we went to the bookstore and I came across a book I had been wanting to try with my own daughter. As we started reading and filling out the book, I realized just how much language we were using and how many new conversations we were having that this book sparked. I was AMAZED at the amount of real, meaningful conversation and learning my daughter and I had in just the first dew pages of the book! I definately think this is an awesome book to work on so many skills…including speech and language. So today I am going to give you some tips on how to use “My Book About Me” to expand speech skills in young children.
About My Book About Me
In this interactive book by Dr. Seuss and Roy McKie, My Book About Me provides children an opportunity to learn and talk about themselves and their surroundings while practicing writing, drawing and even reading. Yes, this book is sort of like a workbook, in that the child (or parent) fills out the information as you go, creating a “story” all about the child and his life that can be kept as a fun keepsake!
Though this book is part of the Dr. Seuss I can Read it All By Myself series of books, you could easily use this book with preschool aged children as well. I would say around age 4, possibly 3.5, would be the age you could use this book with your child, up through school age.
Why I Love This Book
I mentioned that I had been wanting to get this book to do with my daughter for a while. Now that she is 4, I thought she was a great age to use it. But as we started reading through the book, I realized how amazing this book is for expanding speech and language skills. The format of this book, which basically prompts the child to talk about about all kinds of things relating to themselves, their families, and their homes, is like an entire book filled with conversational topics. Anytime you have an opportunity to have conversations with your child, you have opportunity to expand their speech and language skills! This book also promotes family bonding as it is best done with a parent or caregiver.
Though the book provides a lot of areas to “fill in the blank” do not think your child needs to be able to read and write to use this book. You can easily write in the answers for your child as they answer, or you can take turns writing if your child is just learning how. What would be great to do with this book, is to buy it every year and have your child fill it in and see how things change!
Also, this book isn’t a sit-down-and-fill-out book. It gets you away from a table and on your feet! Much like a scavenger hunt, you will need to go find all the different things in the book and count them or talk about them.
Skills You Can Target with This Book
Honestly, there os so much you can target with this book! But here are some ideas:
- Vocabulary. There is a TON of vocabulary in here! Walrus whiskers, anyone?
- Basic concepts
- Answering WH questions
- Personal information (name, address, phone number, birthday)
- Describing skills
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Following Directions
- Object Use
- Part/whole relationships
Basic Tips on Using this Book to Expand Speech & Language Skills
Just reading and filling out the book will give your child the opportunity to hear and learn new words, practice some problem solving and critical thinking skills, and have a BLAST! But don’t stop there! Use this book not just as a workbook but as a conversation starter and you will be providing your child with so much more. Here are some tips:
- Don’t just stick the information on the page, expand on the topic of the page. For example, on the first page it asks of the child is a boy or girl. You can also use this as an opportunity to talk about how we can tell a boy from a girl (a concept that can be difficult for some young children with certain disabilities), how boys are different from girls, and so on. Read on for more specific examples for some pages.
- Think about the goals you have for your child. What speech and language skills do YOU want to target? For example, if your child has difficulty with basic concepts, look at each page for opportunities to talk about and learn new concepts.
- Ask follow up questions, and encourage your child to ask you questions as well. Some of the language in the book can be silly (it is, after all, Dr. Seuss). Encourage your child to ask about words he doesn’t understand (a skill that will serve him well his whole life!).
Page Specific Tips on Using this Book to Expand Speech & Language Skills
Here are just some examples of how you can expand on on the book on specific pages:
Page 1: This page talks about if the child is a boy or a girl. Talk about the difference between boys and girls. How do we know you are a girl and your brother is a boy?
Page 2: This page talks about height and weight. You can expand this page by measuring all family members or maybe a group of stuffed animals and talk about who is TALLER and SHORTER. You can also weigh different things/people and talk about who is HEAVIER and LIGHTER.
Page 4: This page talks about hair. You can expand on this by talking about different people in your child’s world and who has LONG, SHORT, CURLY, STRAIGHT hair and what color different peoples hair is. Why does grandma have grey hair?
Page 10: This page talks about glasses. This was a good page for my daughter to learn about the difference between eye glasses and sun glasses and it started a conversation about why some people need eye glasses and some don’t. You can also talk about contact lenses.
Page 12: This page talks about where the child lives. This page is FULL of opportunity to talk about where different people live in the world and gives a great opportunity to pull out maps!
Pages 18-21: These pages are so much fun. They talk about things in your home like steps and forks and keyholes! Great opportunity to learn new vocabulary and talk about the use of all these objects and why we have them in our home.
Page 30: This page is all about pets. If you don’t have pets, no worries. On the page there are pictures of ALL SORTS of animals. You can play “I Spy” on this page by describing different animals to the each other. You can also talk about what it would take to have a weird pet…like an octopus! What would you need to have a pet octopus??
Page 34: This page talks about clothes. You can talk about the different types of clothing and the parts of each type of clothing (buttons, sleeves, pockets, etc)
Page 40: This page talks about being mad and actions that may come with feeling mad. This would be a great opportunity to also talk about all kinds of emotions, when the child has felt that way, the actions you take when you feel that way, and how you can tell how another person feels.
Page 42: This page talks all about “longest.” Use this as an opportunity to also talk about all the “shortest.”
Page 48: This page talks about sports. You can use this page to not only talk about sports but talk about the verbs that go along with each sport (running, swimming, jumping, climbing, etc)
One More Tip (or Two)
- Have FUN!!! You want to work on your child’s speech and language skills in a natural way, not like a lesson. Have fun with it and your child will too. By daughter LOVES her book and looks forward to doing more pages.
- Take your time. The book has a LOT of information and potential for expansion. Don’t try to fill it all out at once and read your child’s cues: if she seems board, she probably is. Time to do something different.
Don’t forget Dr. Seuss’ birthday is coming up March 2nd! Check out all these other fantastic Dr. Seuss book activities linked up as part of the Virtual Book Club for Kids! I bet you will find so many FUN activities for your littles!