Earlier this year, we came across an article that highlighted the work of a South African based charity called Book Dash that creates and publishes books for free. Their aim is to enable all children to “own a hundred books by the age of five.”
We connected with Book Dash to inquire about supporting the resources through Clicker on LearningGrids – and received an enthusiastic response from Director Dorette Louw, confirming that we could indeed use any of the books, ending her email with the words: “We adore seeing what happens to our stories once they’re out in the world!”
A huge appeal of the stories is the range of diverse representation. So we excitedly got to work looking through the available titles (there are hundreds!) and seeing which might work well with Clicker.
The stories – all beautifully illustrated and unique – are mostly aimed at early readers and include wordless picture books too.
The first two of these books have now been published on LearningGrids:
How Do You Sleep?
This story is beautiful, and the images are really engaging and appealing to young children.
The Reading Book has strong repetition and the graphics are so much fun – my personal favorite is definitely the owl page … and yes baby owls really do sleep on their faces! When creating the book, we could have used the images without the text, but we wanted to stay as faithful as possible to the original, especially as we felt the layout of the text was such an important design feature.
As well as making the book available for readers online, we also wanted to offer additional supporting activities where possible and relevant. For this story, we have created a Make a Book activity (where children can write about the story using beginnings/middles/endings).
There’s also a Sentence, Connect, and Talk Set to enable differentiated levels of response according to individual needs. A Board Set allows children to organize ideas about how the animals in the story sleep and about how they sleep.
Another fun title, and one of Book Dash’s wordless stories. To distinguish this from our usual "Read a Book" sets, we called the stimulus story book a “Picture Book.” Wordless picture books like this are important early reading resources as they help children learn to infer what is happening in the story - since there no words, they have to figure out the story using the pictures and their imagination. This is vital in helping to develop not only comprehension but also an overall understanding of story structure and plot.
To support this story, we also have a Make a Book activity, a Talk Set, and a Clicker Board so children can record – through writing, captions, or speaking – their own interpretation of what is happening in the text-free story.
We hope to add more Book Dash stories and supporting resources to LearningGrids in the future. We are so grateful for this opportunity and super excited to share a more diverse range of stories and characters in our Story Corner category on LearningGrids.