Dear Families,

Welcome to The Children’s Community School’s Summer Club!  We are thrilled to have you joining us.  Today we will begin our summer program by discussing what it feels like to take a risk by doing something new.  Kids may have all different kinds of feelings about trying something unfamiliar (and grown-ups too!).  They may feel uncomfortable, confident, shy, excited, scared or worried, or maybe even a few different emotions at the same time.

In this video, I introduce kids to camp and read the Caldecott Honor book Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka.  We see how two kids, one feeling more confident and one feeling more timid, strike up a new friendship.

After you watch the video, you can follow up by trying these activities at home:

Emotions in the Mirror
One reason I love Yo!Yes? is that the facial expressions and body language of the characters are so clear and expressive.  Interpreting the emotions of others based on facial expressions, body language and tone of voice are all important social skills for young children to build towards.  Try this activity for some fun, mindful emotion-reading practice:
– Stand in front of a mirror with your child.
– Name an emotion or ask your child to name one.
– Take turns showing each other how your body and face look when each of you feel sad, happy, angry, lonely, surprised, brave, confused, etc.
– Take time to notice each other’s facial expression and body language.  Narrate what you notice about your child’s pose, for example, “I notice that your eyebrows are down and your mouth is scrunched up.  You look like you are feeling angry!”  Ask your child to explain or point to what they notice about your pose.
–  If your child is ready, take turns acting out an emotion and seeing if the other can guess what it is.  (This is also a good game to play when your child needs an activity but you don’t have any toys handy- waiting in line, at the dinner table, etc.)

Taking a Picture Walk  

The next time you sit down to read a book with your child, try taking a Picture Walk before reading the words.  When children learn to look closely at illustrations and to predict the text based on the pictorial clues that is the very beginning of reading!  Here’s what you do:
Look carefully through a book with your child, preferably one with illustrations that you both love.

– “Read the pictures” on each page without reading the text.  What clues can you find to help you understand the story?
Model how you closely observe the illustrations on each page.  Think aloud about what you are seeing and wondering, such as by saying, “Hmm… I notice that Harold’s hand is shaking and the purple crayon is making a wiggly line.  Ooo, he’s leaning back!  I wonder what will happen next?”
Use and define vocabulary important to understanding the story, such as, “this person is selling caps, a cap is a word for a kind of hat”.
Ask questions about what your child is noticing.  Guide them to observe any details that are important to understanding the story, but also spend time enjoying whatever delights or intrigues them most about the picture.
Happy reading and welcome to Summer Club!

Best wishes,
Teacher Carrie