Author: Bruce Degen

4-Year-Olds Poetry/Songs

Jamberry tells about the lively escapades of a bear and a little boy as they go off searching for berries. The rhythmic text will entertain your child as she is exposed to rhyming words and compound words.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the book by reading the title and name of the author and illustrator. You might ask your child to make a prediction:

What do you see on the cover of the book? Tell me what you think this story might be about.

Letter Knowledge

Print an uppercase and lowercase J on an index card as shown here: 

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Tell your child you are going to learn about the letter J. You might say:

Jam begins with /j/ /j/ J. The letter J makes the /j/ sound. Can you say /j/ /j/ J?

Tell her that you will be searching for the letter J as you read the story.

Oral Language

Read the story and make predictions throughout the story. Pause to let your child look at the details in the pictures. Bring her attention to an unusual illustration and ask her what she thinks about it, for example:

  • Look at this tree. Have you ever seen one like this? Is this real or make-believe?
  • Look what is happening in this picture. What do you think might happen next?

Phonological Awareness

Read the book with a rhythmic tempo. Listening to rhyming books as they are read aloud rhythmically is very beneficial to children as they begin to learn about rhyming words. Ask your child if she hears any words that sound the same, words that rhyme. Say the rhyming pair together.

Letter Knowledge

Pause on the pages that have the letter J. Show the index card with the letter Jj and ask your child to find the letter on the page. You might also ask her to tell you the sound for the letter J. Have her trace the letter Jj on the index card or in the book. Talk about the shape of the letter as she traces it.

Oral Language

Ask a connection question. If she has had berries before you might ask:

  • What kinds of berries do you like?  
  • Which is your favorite?

Provide several kinds of jam for your child to taste. If your child has only had jelly, discuss the differences and similarities with jam. See which one is her favorite. Ask her to tell you why it is her favorite.

Phonological Awareness

Play with compound words. You can go to the At-Home Activity, Star + Fish = Starfish, to give your child practice with compound words. 

Explore more easy at-home activities designed to build pre-reading skills in your four-year-old, or or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.