Words foster community spirit
BookFun builds on the “dialogic reading” method which involves expanding the classic way of reading aloud so that it becomes a dialogue instead of a monologue. This involves the teacher reading the same story aloud three times in a row – with increasing involvement from the children. During the first reading, the children just sit down and listen – perhaps interrupted by a single question about the story. The second time around, the teacher addresses specific words and pictures which the children need to consider and talk about. On the third reading, the dialogue increases and the children are quizzed, among other things, and the book’s storyline is later used as inspiration for games and activities.
As they go along, the children get engrossed in the book’s world and develop their language skills – because words breed words, language breeds a community spirit and a community spirit breeds socially well-adjusted children. Children thrive best when they can express their thoughts, and a lack of words presents a problem for many children. Being frustrated by not being able to express oneself can result in bullying and loneliness. This is why BookFun has been developed to stimulate language among young children. The material is easy to use, and the follow-up research shows that BookFun significantly improves children’s ability to communicate – when compared to a test group of children who had the same stories read aloud to them in the conventional way. And the teachers agree with the good results and have noticed that the children have simply become better at developing friendships.
“BookFun has boosted her self-confidence. Her vocabulary has increased and she therefore talks more, and she is generally braver about using her language now. This means that she takes the initiative to play more often and has thus formed more relationships socially.”
Bullying and Well-being
Bullying and a failure to thrive are interlinked. When a child is bullied, he or she does not thrive. And when a children's group is not thriving, there is a big risk of bullying and social isolation arising. Thriving in a children's group is all about giving all of the children the right tools and values, so that tolerance and togetherness become the focus. The work to prevent bullying is therefore inextricably linked with fostering well-being and inclusion.