Our monthly reading guides help enhance your Ranger Rick Jr. subscription by recommending ways you can use the magazine to encourage a strong foundation for your child’s literacy development.
This month’s issue of Ranger Rick Jr. has so many great articles for you to share with your child! While reading the Ricky and Pals story, “Size Wise,” your child will be exposed to a new concept: molting.
This is a great opportunity for your child to learn a brand new vocabulary word. Introduce the word in a child-friendly way; for example, “Molting is when an animal wiggles out of his old skin because it becomes too small for him as he grows bigger.”
Some ways to extend this reading activity are:
Read books about animals that shed their skin as they grow, such as Investigating Why Animals Shed Their Skin, by Ellen René. Informational books are an excellent way to encourage literacy at home.
While reading, ask your child what animals shed their skin. Some examples are lizards, chameleons, and some frogs. Take it even further by asking, “Why do you think it needs to shed its skin?” Follow it up with the definition suggested above.
You can also talk to your child about growing. Start by asking, “Do we shed our skin when we grow?” In the story, Mrs. Cardinal tells Ricky that he is growing slowly, each day. Make it a routine to measure your child every week or month and observe his or her slow growth! Encourage your child to mark the date next to the line you make, to involve some writing too. Even though humans do not molt, we do grow out of clothes as we get bigger. Show your child their baby clothes and talk about why they don’t fit anymore. This could bring about some great vocabulary and comparisons when talking about being taller than he or she was at a previous time.
A great way to spend time with your family, while also extending this fun story, is to go apple picking! There, you can talk with your child about what they remember happening in the story and what they are experiencing firsthand at the apple orchard. Engaging in conversation is so meaningful and beneficial for children’s literacy development!
Prepared by Ellie Tunison
Prekindergarten Reading Encouragement Project (PREP) Intern
Early Childhood Education Major, University of Delaware
PREP – Helping childhood literacy one family at a time.