City Block written by Christopher Fanceschelli illustrated by Peskimo is an engaging, colorful and interesting book ideal for toddlers and preschool children. The book contains simple language with engaging pictures of various actions that are occurring in a city. The book is also not a standard “lift the flap” type of book. Each page is unique in the way that the pictures are displayed and accessed. This design can help a child not only engage in the story but also improve problem solving skills by learning to discover the next page and pictures. Although this book was created for younger children, I have been using it successfully with children with varying disabilities and special needs. The colorful pictures and simple language are ideal for a simple structured activity and can help facilitate a variety of language concepts. For example, when using this book, I target various categories such as vehicles, places, foods, cuisines, animals, and actions. When reading this book to a child, I encourage the individual to comment and fill in the blanks as I read the story. For example, I say “We can go underground to catch a ______(subway)”. If the child is not familiar with a subway, I will show them an image or a short clip of the subway to familiarize them with it. This is an important step in learning specific vocabulary. If a child does not know and experience a specific vocabulary word or concept, it is important to give extra visual support to help build the knowledge.
This book is ideal for preschool classroom and can also be used successfully in classrooms for children with special needs, such as autism.
Are you a speech language pathologist? Check out this category bingo game that I created in Boardmaker that can used in the classroom or during a therapy session.
Make it sensory! This book is ideal to use manipulatives when reading this book by using objects such as transportation vehicles, play food and more. As you are reading the book, let the child explore each item to make the experience 3 dimensional and more concrete.
Carryover Activities: Use the bingo game I created. Work on arts and crafts projects about the city such as this one here.
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