Read! Move! Learn!: Active Stories for Active Learning.
READ! MOVE! LEARN!: Active Stories for Active Learning. Carol T. Hammett & Nicki C. Geigert. Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House, 2007. 232 pp. Paperback, $19.95. This richly informative text addresses ways of adding fun and excitement to the learning process by creating lessons acquired through "movement to literacy." The authors draw upon their experiences in early literacy development and movement education to create a text/teacher resource that brings tremendous energy and vast richness to story time. Throughout the book, the authors claim that teachers must adopt a balanced approach to curriculum design. This collection of action-packed stories and activities provides a fresh approach to help educators engage their young learners during story time.
Read! Move! Learn! discusses basic information about motor development and early literacy concepts. It focuses on the fact that much attention has to be given to details when managing an environment that calls for the movement of children. The authors provide strategies that have been quite successful for them, and they discuss feedback they received from colleagues with whom they collaborated in preparing this work.
The text makes reference to 74 children's books. Each selection contains a brief annotation, suggestions, information about literacy concepts to focus on as you read to the children, and a few activities specifically created to support the storyline and its characters. The refreshing part of this book is that the authors provide activities that encourage improvisation, creativity, and much interpretation on the part of the teacher as well as the children.
This well-structured book provides an extensive appendix, a glossary, a list of materials needed for every activity, and a variety of resources that will help educators move beyond the suggested activities. The authors include an alphabetical title index, an author index, and a recorded music index, so that the reader will be able to find fellow educators who write and record with active learning in mind.
Clearly, the goal of the authors is to enhance the work of early childhood educators by helping them find their own "literature in motion" in order to create engaging lessons that bring energy and richness to storytelling. This book is packed with creative ideas for classrooms with students who are ready and eager to engage in physical learning. Reviewed by William Guedes Cortezia, Miami Teaching Fellow, Miami, FL, and doctoral student and lecturer at Barry University, Miami Shores, FL.