Observe the child in interaction with an adult while reading a book about opposites.
Read a book about opposites, such as Olivia’s Opposites, and leave out the opposite word in the comparison phrase for the child to fill in. “Here Olivia is coming. And here she is….” As you are reading the book with the child interject questions. For example, “How do you think Olivia feels about that lion?” “When do you think she will wear lipstick?” “Will she wear this before or after lunch?” State, “Show me where Olivia was scared by the lion.”
The child answers or demonstrates something when asked a “how” question (e.g., “How did Olivia put on make-up?”)
Early childhood educators and parents do not often use opposites in conversation with children. However, adults can help children learn these terms by giving children opposites as choices. “Do you want the thin noodles or the fat noodles?” (holding up a package of each for the child to see). “Do you want cold or hot chocolate?” Encourage early childhood educators and parents to have children play the role of teacher by having the children show or tell them how to do something. “Wow. That is a cool painting. How did you get that color?” This encourages the children to break down what was done and explain the cause-and-effect.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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