Readiness for Kindergarten, Dr. Seuss #15 & Shamrocks

St.-Patrick's-DayGreen Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss, is a perfect book for today. Are you wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day?

Besides the green connection this book is important for another reason – the element of fantasy. Most kids know that there is no such thing as a green egg but delight in the fun even though it is not real. This real or fantasy issue is controversial. Some people think that exposing children to fantasy is not just deceitful but catastrophe in the making, while others believe fantasy is an essential part of childhood.

Weren’t last month’s Oscars, for the most part, all about fantasy? Fantasy for grownups, not just kids? No matter which side we’re on of the fantasy-reality debate in childhood, the reality is that human beings love a good story. In fact, George Lakoff, a university scientist, wrote in his book Metaphors We Live By
that our minds crave stories and are part of the structure of our brains. Apparently, our brains are hard-wired for stories. The context of a story can make a concept come to life, making it easier to understand. Stories harness the power of the imagination to help us learn and remember. Thinking strategies are stretched when listening to and following along with stories and language skills are exercised.

What does this mean for kindergarten readiness? That stories are a powerful teaching and learning tool! The Irish love a good story  and St. Patrick himself used story as a teaching tool. St. Patrick noted the difficulty of understanding the Trinity. He used a 3-leafed shamrock to show how 1 leaf can have 3 parts and so does God, as in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Or so the story goes…

For St. Patrick’s day wear green, pin on a 3-leaf shamrock, look for 4-leaf clovers, tell stories, explore what’s real and what’s fantasy and build readiness for kindergarten as a byproduct of all the fun!
Don’t you agree that’s the golden treasure?

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