Creator: Suzy Brooks (@simplysuzy)
Suggested Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area: English/Language Arts & Service Learning

Project Description
Students research and reflect on early literacy environments including their affect on children and their reading ability. To build background, students begin by viewing online videos, reading articles, and conducting personal interviews. After exploring the genre of baby books, students ultimately choose one to use for fluency practice. They incorporate mobile technology such as iPads, iPods, or laptops to record their voice and provide each other with feedback. After many rehearsals, students record their best reading for a class anthology of readings which are burned onto CD.

Students reflect on their research, as well as their experience, and write a persuasive letter to new parents that might convince them to read to their babies. The letters are then sent to the local hospital maternity department, along with a board book and the CD of recordings. The gift bags are given to new parents in celebration of early literacy!

Find out more about this Books for Babies project on Suzy’s blog.

Extending the Project
Students could leverage mobile technology to provide audio recordings of books to younger students in the school or after school programs. Another option for older students would be to create recordings of adult texts – news articles, short stories, poems, etc – for those who struggle with reading such as the elderly.