Are We Showing Our Children The Right Books?
In terms of the story books used in the UK, research carried out by the National Literacy Trust found that almost 40% of children wanted to see more books with characters similar to them as they weren't able to see themselves or relate to the books they read. So, if this is the research in the UK where there is a diverse range of students - shouldn't we be thinking about the same in the Gulf?
Giving children access to books that they can connect with on some level whether it is with the characters, the places or the story line itself enables a love of reading to foster in children which has many positive effects. It is this exact sentiment that makes the Sight Word Series books published by Desert Learning Ltd an AMAZING find - particularly for the young children in the Gulf region.
The Sight Word Series books are ideal for children that are starting their reading and writing journey. It includes 42 sight words across 18 different books which contain simple sentences on each page. Students can learn sight words just like they would in the UK or USA but they can learn it while reading books that are a little more relevant to them. This way they can get the best of both worlds - all the good that comes from the structure of a British/American Curriculum plus the cultural connection that can instil that love of learning.
Yes there are many other books that involve sight words such as Bob Books and others of a similar sort but they don't really provide the same depth in the pictures as the Sight Word Series by Desert Learning. They aren't designed for children in the Gulf region and if there's anything we should know as educators it's that one style of book does not fit all. Certainly where different cultures are concerned. The variety is definitely needed and much appreciated.
Sift through your child's books or even your classroom's books to see how much of your books have a diverse representation in characters. Do they truly meet your child's needs?