Book Prompts for Creative Learning
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If you search pinterest for book related activities you will get thousands of ideas: crafts, worksheets, printables, recipes, etc. It can be overwhelming, but it really doesn’t have to be that complicated. Encouraging an interest in books and getting children to think deeper about the storylines or what they’re learning is a good thing. But, it has to be meaningful and you don’t need complicated crafts and a big list of materials to do it. All you need is a book, and whatever else you have at home.
I thought I’d share with you some of the ways we’ve been using books as a prompt for further exploration and creative expression!
Exploring an Interest
When one of the girls has an interest in a topic I will often set up invitations for them to explore it further. For example, my oldest was learning about bees for a long time and this is just one of the ways she explored that…
Some clay, wire, and tools set out with a book on bees encouraged them to represent their learning by making sculptures.
Books and Art
Books are a great prompt for art! Lately we have been loving wordless books, especially ‘Journey‘ by Aaron Becker. Every time we read it we find things we hadn’t seen before. We’ve been talking about how the pictures tell the story and how people might interpret things in different ways. I set up this little exploration to invite them to respond to the book through art.
We read the book together first and then I asked them ‘If you had a magic crayon like in the book, what colour would it be?’ They both chose an oil pastel and drew their door in the corner of their page. Then I asked them ‘where would your door lead to?’
Books and Loose Parts
Simply setting out a book with some blocks or loose parts can invite great creativity and imagination! And it’s so simple to do.
We recently watched the life cycle of some sunflowers as they grew in our garden. Afterwards I set out our life cycle book alongside Spielgaben pieces to invite the girls to represent what they had witnessed. Miss 6 took up the offer! Spielgaben is great for loose parts creations and I knew it would be inviting as it contained all the colours and shapes she would need.
She used an assortment of pieces combined with blu-tac to make a 3D model of the life cycle (including the sun and rain they needed to make them grow).
She then made labels for each stage.
And added a rainbow for good measure.
There are endless ways you can explore books and they are fabulous for encouraging creativity and hands on learning. All you need is a book and some art materials, blocks, or loose parts. Most people have these at home! The key is to keep it simple, inviting, and meaningful to your child.
How have you used books creatively? I’d love to hear about it.
Books would probably my number one pick when it comes for creative expression and further exploration! Here’s one example we did in our class last year.
That looks great!
Such beautiful and simple ideas. Absolutely love! Thank you for the inspiration 🙂
Thank you Nell 🙂
I love this idea, Sara. We will often focus on a couple books per week and then do activities based on those books. We also adore Journey. I love books that keep surprising you on each subsequent read. Thanks for this.
Yes! Me too! We’ve just gotten Quest too. Love them.
Thank you for this, the picture book looks beautiful. Great ideas. You in fact guide the children’s work more than I expected, and it looks like so much fun. It is exactly what I would love to see set up in Nursery classrooms! A question: what kind of thing(if any) do you provide the children with when they are writing? Do they have an alphabet poster in on their desk, for example? How do you teach letter formation? My 3 year old is really ready to write and I wanted some advice please, Thanks.xx
Hi anna. I did have a printout up of the letters and how they should sit on the line but I don’t think anyone has even glanced at it, LOL. I just teach letter formation when asked. My eldest has been writing for a while and asked me to help her because she wanted to ‘write like a grown up’, meaning on the lines properly. So I started showing her how the letters should go when she asked. She is not into practicing for the sake of practicing but only if it’s something she wants to write, e.g. a letter to a friend. So lately I’ve been writing the letter for her so she can see how all the words look and she has been copying them out.
Wow! This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I thought a lot about incorporating books last Sunday as I made some mental plans for our week. So far I’ve mainly incorporated books into our play by paring them with toys – like leaving little plastic dinosaurs out with some dinosaur books and leave rubber duckies out with a five little ducks book. This has given lots of ideas for expanding on that. Thank you 🙂 it also finally prompted me to hunt down a display easel!!
beautiful prompts – love the ideas here
Thank you 🙂
Such wonderful explorations, very enticing and engaging
Thanks Kelly 🙂
May I ask which book the picture of the Bee Nest is in?
Yes, this fabulous book we were lucky enough to be given by a family member who is a teacher and got it from the library who was getting rid of books! http://amzn.to/1ITPClI
Thank you for sharing! I, like Anna, discovered that you guide your children a bit more than I thought or imagined. I am interested to know how the children’s creations come about. For example, Miss 6 and creating a 3D visual of the life cycle of the sunflower. I see you set out the materials, but was it her idea to illustrate the life cycle? Her idea based on the prompt from the book? Or was it something you discussed together and she then decided to illustrate it? I know it’s a silly question but I’d like to sort of know the ‘mechanics’ of it.
Not a silly question! 🙂
We had been growing sunflowers in our garden and Miss 6 had been painting pictures of them at different stages of the life cycle, so I knew she was interested in it. So I simply set up the book and materials and let her find it. She decided to make the life cycle and the only thing she asked me for was to find some blu-tac so she could stick the pieces together 🙂