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The Reference Desk section contains tools for classroom teachers, parents, and teacher trainers for using storybooks to promote family involvement. Many of these tools are easily adaptable for use in different programs and community-based settings for children and families. Several of these tools also facilitate effective family literacy practices—for example, they guide active shared reading and parent–child conversations.
Ideas for Teachers on How to Use Family Involvement Storybooks
Read some suggestions for how to implement family involvement storybooks in the classroom.
The Family Involvement Storybook: A New Way to Build Connections With Families
Read more about our ideas for using family involvement storybooks in an article from Young Children, a journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (Copyright © 2006 by NAEYC. See the NAEYC website for information on permissions and reprints.)
The family involvement storybooks selected portray culturally diverse families and appear on Reading Is Fundamental's list of the 100 of the Decade's Best Multicultural Read-Alouds. The books selected are designated by RIF as appropriate for reading aloud to children in grades K–3. Each tool kit below includes a teacher lesson plan with home and school activities, commentary from a teacher in the field who used the storybook to increase family engagement, a parent handout, and an interview with the author of the storybook about family involvement ideas.
A Tool Kit for the Storybook Halmoni and the Picnic
This book focuses on home–school relationships and the important roles that children, families, and teachers can play in bridging cultural differences. These resources can be used to build home-school connections for families and to welcome families—particularly immigrant minority families—into schools. Special features of this tool kit include questions to help teachers reflect on their practice with culturally diverse families, step-by-step help for families on how to talk with teachers about their children's learning, and a guide for teacher trainers that uses the illustrations in the storybook to explore home–school communication.
A Tool Kit for the Storybook Tomás and the Library Lady
This book focuses on learning outside of school and the important role that families' cultural practices play in supporting literacy. The book also explores the importance of community-based sources of literacy learning. These tool kit resources can be used to build home–school connections for families and home–school–community connections involving the public library. The resources can help promote summer learning by focusing on literacy achievement and preventing the “summer literacy slide.” The resources also focus on engaging Latino families in their children's learning. Special features of this tool kit include a family literacy handout for an informal summer walk that parents and children can take together around the neighborhood to promote literacy (available in both Spanish and English), the detailed journal of a teacher whose class used the storybook to build relationships with English Language Learner families and the public library, and thoughts from the storybook author and an educator about engaging Latino families.