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Teaching Strategies


Teaching Strategies

Loving books helps bring a love of learning.  The story Can't Catch a Butterfly is sure to capture the heart of every little girl and boy.  The book was also designed to enhance language and emergent literacy skills.  Below are numerous ways to encourage  vocabulary development, pre-reading skills and joy of the printed word.  If you don't already have your copy of Can't Catch a Butterfly.  Click here to order.

For the youngest child or around two - teach them to appreciate their new book Can't Catch a Butterfly.  Help them turn pages one by one and comment on the bright butterfly pictures.  If your child is not ready to listen to the entire story, that's okay!  Make up your own words for each page.  EX:  "Uh-oh...caught pink butterflyUh-oh...caught blue butterfly." 

For children ages 3-7, show them the cover of Can't Catch a Butterfly and see if they can tell you what they think the story is about.  Tell them the name of the story and the author.

Children develop listening skills at various rates from ages 2 to 4.  Gradually begin to read entire text.  Can't Catch a Butterfly is designed with minimal print, repetition and rhyme to aid in keeping a child's attention.  Reading this book more than once provides consistency and encourages memory of the story.  If your child loses focus then try pumping up your facial expressions!!!  They will surely want to hear the adventure by your visual excitement and voice inflections!

As parents, you may get tired of reading the same book over and over again.  But actually repetition reinforces what they are learning.  Hearing the same story helps them make a connection between words and pictures they see on a page.

Can't Catch a Butterfly focuses on color identification.  After you read the story go back to one of the last pages called Can You Find The...  This layout shows all of the butterflies on one page.  Ask your child, "Show me the blue butterfly" or "Where's the red butterfly?"  Have them point to the correct color.    If they can't identify the colors then take their pointer finger and touch the correct butterfly together.  "Blue butterfly!"  "There's the blue butterfly!" 

Reading and talking about a story is a great way to enhance a child's language development.  Ask your child to name the pictures in the book. 

Answering WH questions is a very challenging skill for many children.  It's one thing to memorize a story but a whole different ballgame to comprehend information and express what is happening on command.  After reading the story go back to the first page and ask your child, "Where is the butterfly?"  Look for the appropriate responses like "in the tree", "up in the sky", or "under a bush".  If they can't respond to your question then model the correct response. 

Kid's love to show how smart they are!  One of the last pages to Can't Catch a Butterfly is a landscape scene with butterflies flying everywhere!  Play a game with your child and ask, "Can you show me the butterfly on the step?",  "Where's the butterfly under the wagon?", or  "Find the butterfly in the pool."

Identifying emotions and talking about feelings is a healthy skill.  When a child expresses themselves verbally they are improving their communication development.  At the end of the story, ask your child why the boy is sad and why the butterflies are happy. 

After you've read Can't Catch a Butterfly many times,  see if your child can "tell" you the story!  This is a great pre-reading activity.  Point to the words on the page as the story is being "read".

Children as young as 3 are already realizing that words are made up of different sounds.  We can enhance this pre-reading skill.  While reading Can't Catch a Butterfly change one of the ending rhyming words to a silly nonsense non-rhyming word.  See if your child notices and can "fix" the sentence. 

Increase language skills by targeting concepts.  Play the Butterfly Hunt Game.  Take a net and some butterflies.  (You can make butterflies from crumpled up construction paper) Hide the butterflies around your house, classroom, or backyard.  See how many butterflies your child can "catch".  Help them count the butterflies.  This works on the concept of quantity and helps children with counting skills.  - Here is another useful strategy to enhance the concept of spatial directions.  Hide all of the butterflies.  Then tell your child to, "Go find the butterfly next to the TV", "Go find the butterfly behind the tree", "Go find the butterfly in the bathroom, on the sink". 

Build your child's imagination!  This activity is great for a daycare, preschool or regular classroom activity.  Click here for the big butterfly coloring sheet.  Print out and have your child color.  Cut the butterfly out and tape to a jumbo lollipop stick.  For a group setting, print out as many as needed.  Have each child color the butterfly their favorite color.  The teacher/parent/caregiver will begin to tell the story and then each child will stand up with their butterfly puppet and finish "the page" as they create a new location for the butterfly to hide!  Repeat this step until all children make up their own special hiding place for their butterfly.  For home use, take turns with your child making up hiding place for the butterfly.  See how many different spots your child can come up with for their butterfly to fly off to.

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