Bilingual Interest Inventory – Book About You
Kids love to write, talk, and share items about themselves. Imagine how they will feel if they write their own mini-book about the person they know best. This mini-lesson will not only help them to work on their reading and language skills, it will help them to boost self-esteem, and provide a follow through activity for home.
Time is often limited when working with children. Be sure to make a model book ahead of time to share with them. Your book should be age appropriate for the child that you are working with, so you may need several examples. The book could be set up in a traditional manner, or a fold book that contains tabs. Possible items to include:
- Drawing of you with name and age
- Picture of your immediate family and their names
- Favorite foods
- Your favorite book
- Cartoon character
- Smell that you love
Once you share your book, take time to talk about the project you will be working on. Ask them what topics would they like in their book to show their favorite items. Take note of these items because many could be useful later on in additional sessions. Some ideas for children may include favorite:
- Subject in school
- Summer break experience
There is no right or wrong, and this activity allows the child to have ownership in their project. Make a list of important words to include with their pages. Older children may include sentences, while younger children would use words that describe the objects. Conversational skills will be essential here to make sure their thoughts are being expressed for their book. Remember that this book will also be going home with the child to practice words, skills, and language development. To assist others at home, it may be beneficial to everyone to have the translation on the page. This simple step will show the connection to their multilingual life.
Depending on the time frame, you may be able to ask for photos from home to include in the book, rather than have the child draw people. Personalized photo books with vocabulary often become cherished items for younger children and keepsakes for the entire family.
Tying it all Together
When the book is finished, be sure to spend some time looking it over together. Talk about what the child likes most. Ask questions about their favorite part, least favorite, and possibly what they would add into the book if they had more time. Discuss how they will use the book when they go home to their family. Suggest that they use it to teach another individual something about them. They can role play teacher and practice the language skills that they learned
Getting to know the children that you work with is critical to building a relationship for your time together. The more you know about them, the better you can personalize their sessions and make a larger impact on their lives. Have you ever used a “book about you” as a therapy tool before? Did it seem to be well-received by the child and the parents?