Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Creating Books with Children

Creating Books with Children
By Valerie Bendt

What a wonderful concept! All children love to create things, but deaf children really need hands on activities to put in practice what they are learning. Creating a book gives them experience in the parts of a book (ie: title, author, front cover, etc.), how to write a story, handwriting practice, spelling practice, art (illustrations), etc.

This book is set up as a 6-week unit study. By the end of the six weeks the student will have started and completed their first real book. Each step is thoroughly explained and many examples are given.

The first week focuses on pre-writing activities. Bendt expresses the importance of reading good literature with your children. She offers a good list of classic books with detailed descriptions to help jump start the parent/teacher find the right books for his/her students. Simple alteration of signing the stories instead of reading aloud makes this easily adaptable to the deaf learner.

Bendt expresses the need for copying or dictation exercises. This activity is excellent for the deaf student. Bendt gives many ideas on what types of passages for the student to copy. Not only is this good handwriting practice, but it allows the deaf student to mimic the English language. Following the description of dictation are many examples of passages for copying.

Each section includes detailed instructions and examples. During the second week the stories are written. The third week text layout and editing is done, fourth includes illustrating the books, the fifth week entails developing the beginning and ending pages and book jacket, and the final week the books are assembled and finished. This book teaches the parent/teacher how to help the student. It includes a lot of details, examples and ideas. She suggests recording books on audio tape several times, but this could easily be adjusting by video taping stories instead. She concludes with a thorough materials list.

I highly recommend this book for the deaf learner. I give it a ☺☺☺☺.

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