Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Tips for Authors & Illustrators Providing Distance Learning Content for Young Children

Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash
I’m so grateful to all the authors, illustrators, book publishers and other creatives who are providing a steady line-up of read alouds, activities and downloads! 

As an educator, it’s really exciting to be able to introduce my students to books read by the author or to share drawing demos created by an illustrator. If you are one of those people, thank you so much!!

Since this has been on my mind, I thought I’d share some of the things I look for as I search for read alouds to support my lessons:

  • I link to read alouds that can be shared from Youtube, Vimeo, or author websites, especially ones that are Kid-safe and ad free. I don’t link to Facebook, Instagram, etc.

  • Since I schedule lessons in advance, I’m looking for content that stays accessible for a while. Students and families access distance learning at different times over the day, whenever they can fit it in.

  • I'm attracted to readings with a natural, relatively slow pace and lots of close ups of the book illustrations.

  • Extra content such as a related song, art demo or story about where the idea for the book came from is really fun, as long as they aren’t overly long.

  • It’s not always necessary to provide extra content.  I use read alouds to support what I’m teaching, so sometimes I appreciate just having the read aloud itself.

  • When themes, keywords or topics of the books are easy to find, I can tell right away how the book will fit into my lesson plans. By-author lists are nice if I’m familiar with the author and looking for a “for fun” story.

I really enjoy bringing authors and illustrators to my students and I purposefully look for picture books that are read by their creators. I’d love to hear from you if you have additional tips or resources!

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