Above: Immy revisiting the ACMI Dreams Come True exhibition via the exhibition guide
“Encourages them (children) to revisit and remember past events and encourages them to talk about places, people, events, feelings and emotions.”
Command of the verbal aspects of literacy are essential to social communication and the more opportunities young children have to talk about experiences, places, people, feelings and emotions, the better.
Another way of encouraging the development of these verbal skills is through revisiting significant family experiences, outings or excursions. For example, a visit to a museum or exhibition, an outing to the zoo or even a trip to the movies. Through involvement in a broad range of experiences (and the subsequent revisiting of them), children develop place- or experience- specific vocabulary; the words you would use to describe what you see at a dinosaur exhibition would be different to those of a space museum or a geocaching adventure.
Photographs taken of these events are great resources for encouraging verbal retelling. Other useful resources include;
- Venue maps, brochures and exhibition guides also act as prompts, engaging children’s interest in the functions of different forms of literacy (what is a map useful for?) and encouraging their verbal retelling of the details surrounding the event.
- Using art materials to draw or paint their memory of the event or feelings or emotions about it. I have previously posted about Immy’s drawings and paintings (and the language surrounding them) following her first movie going experience and this is one example of children creatively representing their memories and feelings about an event.
- For young children, try creating invitations to play with figurines representing elements of the experience, you can see an example related to our zoo visits in this post.
- If you do not have photographs, purchasing postcards from the venue can act in their place.