Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bridging: Using Books to Make the Connection

A great idea that my friend Yvonne mentioned at the last Mediated Learning workshop was the idea of using characters or scenes from books to bridge a concept for your child.

Perhaps you have a child who is needing some self-regulation.
"Remember how Anne lost her temper with Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables? What did she miss out on for two years while she held a grudge against Gilbert? Do you think that if you continue in this behaviour you might miss out on something special?"

Perhaps you want to introduce the idea of self-change to your child.
"Remember the story of Paddle-to-the-Sea? Did Paddle-to-the-sea stay the same way throughout his whole journey? Did the little boat's facade change at all? Let's look at this past year of learning, can you see any way that you are like Paddle-to-the-sea--maybe you started out one way but ended up different?"

Perhaps belonging is an important element that needs to be discussed with your child.
"Why do you think the Pepper children were so happy even in their poverty in Five Little Peppers? How did they make each other feel loved and special? How do you feel loved and special and a part of our family?"

If goal planning is a concept that needs explaining, try this approach:
How do you think Pa knew how to build his own house in Little House on the Prairie? What steps do you think he took? Do you think you could use the concept of making a plan to tackle this problem? What kind of plan would you use?

Stories remain with us. That is the power of good literature.
Our children can see the progression of a character in a book because they are along for the journey as they are told the story. Let's use this to our advantage and use it as a way to bridge understanding to our children's learning.

What book could you use to bridge with today?

1 comment:

Therese said...

I love this idea! It came up at the Mediated Learning workshop in Whitecourt. I've often used literary characters and stories as a means of bridging and it works well when a direct approach of behavioural correction is too difficult for the child to face head on. It is always easier to see the truth in a fictional character's behaviour. We tend to naturally to apply it to ourselves.
Great stuff and great examples!