- Identify characters
- Talk about what the characters do
- Give the characters unique voices
Storybook Example: Goldilocks and the Three BearsRead Goldilocks and the Three Bears and as you read, act out the voices for each character. Give Papa Bear a deep growling voice to contrast with Mama Bear’s high-pitched voice. As you read, talk about what each of the characters is feeling and why the character has that emotion. An example dialogue is, “Papa Bear sure looks mad. Maybe he’s mad because his chair is broken. I feel mad when my stuff breaks, too.” As a child learns how each of the characters acts and sounds, they later be able to better portray the characters herself.
Real World Example: Going to the DoctorVisiting the doctor’s office is a common occurrence for many children so the roles of doctor, nurse, and patient are pretty familiar. To help children learn the roles and doctor and patient (aside from real doctor visits) read stories about going to the doctor such as Mercer Mayer’s “Little Critter Doctor." While reading these stories, talk about connections between the story and real life experiences. You could say something like: “Little Critter is going to the doctor when he’s sick. Last week you went to the doctor because you were sick. The doctor will help little critter feel better just like your doctor made you feel better.”
Identify and Assign Roles
Storybook Example: Goldilocks and the Three BearsAfter reading the story and introducing the Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Baby Bear, and Goldilocks; set up a play scenario for the story. This can be done by gathering materials that relate to the story such as three bowls and three chairs of varying sizes and three blankets for the pretend bear beds. Introduce the materials and explain their connection to the familiar Goldilocks story. Something you could say is: “I see three bowls just like in Goldilocks. We could use the bowls to play Goldilocks.” Next, identify and assign character roles with a dialogue such as, “Let’s play Goldilocks. Let’s be Mama Bear and Goldilocks. Do you want to be Mama Bear or Goldilocks?” (Child responds) “I can be Mama Bear and you be Goldilocks.”
Real World Example: Going to the DoctorUsing a toy doctor kit, introduce/explore the materials and make the connection between the materials and the recent doctor visit or storybook. Ask your child if they want to play the doctor or patient. After assigning agreed upon roles, play doctor and use common phrases that you'd hear at the doctor's office. Some of the phrases you can use while playing are 1) “Can I take your temperature?” 2) “Take a big breath” and 3) “Do you feel sick?”
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