This assignment addresses a model book available on the Book Builder website at http://bookbuilder.cast.org/ . The book for discussion is called for early childhood education grades PreK to K called Silly Pets, written by Kathy Ferreira, Nicole Lawson, and Sue Schuck and illustrated by Darcy Schwartz and Seoin Lim (n. d.). How the author used the features of book builder to support reading instruction and content learning will be discussed.
Ferreira et al. (n. d.) used a multisensory approach in Silly Pets. Visually, the pictures in the book have simple lines, picture designs, and bold colors. The text is clearly delineated to draw attention to the learning concept. For instance, on page 2 of the book, it is clear to the learner that the letter “p” is being emphasized. The authors changed the letter “p” to red to make it stand out, and the authors underlined the word “puppy” to emphasize two syllable words.
The “coach” feature of the site (Cast UDL Book Builder, 2013) turns the book into a multisensory experience for the child. The coach feature used for Ferreira et al.’s (n. d.) book was the Terry the giraffe. For every page, Terry has tips for teachers on how to take the text from the book to add dimension to the learning experience. For instance, on page two, there are instructions to reinforce the material verbally, reading allowed the material to help students learn about two syllable words. Under the extension activity, tactile activities combined with auditory emphasis are reinforced. On page 2, for example, the teacher can have a picnic with the children and hold two syllable objects and repeat the words as they are holding the food to learn that words have different syllables. Another learning tactic encouraged in Ferreira et al.’s book is clapping each syllable of each word. In doing this, students are learning that each word has a certain amount of syllables, whether it is one, two, or three. This is reinforced through auditory learning, tactile learning, and kinetic learning. This is emphasized often with the coach feature in the book. In addition, three more coaches have been utilized on the bottom of the screen, creating even more auditory activities and opportunities to learn the content. When students or teachers click on the icons, the coach points out a specific word on the page, for instance, and encourages students to focus on all the sounds in the word, such as c-a-t. The authors used Pedro, Hali, and Monty.
Moreover, the technological features of the website Cast UDL Book Builder (2013) help teachers and students add more depth and dimension to the learning experience. Thanks to the technological capabilities of the site, there are four icons available on the left hand side of the page under the title “Text Help”. If a person clicks on the icons, the text on the page will be read aloud for the student, either the entire sentence on the page, or a single word at a time, and the feature has a stop button. Also, the reader and teacher can click on the dialog bubbles, the icon on the bottom of the screen. Ferreira et al. (n. d.) added this feature to their book so young readers can hear any word in Silly Pets in Spanish.
The features on Cast UDL Book Builder (2013) turn a reading book into a multisensory experience. The coach feature of the site helps teachers foster a love for reading on a multisensory level. The suggestions to combine the visual and auditory with tactile and kinetic learning from the coach feature on the right side of the screen help make the most out of the learning experience. The features on the left hand side of the screen help emphasize the auditory aspect of learning the content in the book. These unique site features help keep the student’s attention, prevents fatigue, and stimulates the student on a multisensory level with activities and auditory emphasis.
Cast UDL Book Builder (2013). Cast UDL Book Builder. Retrieved from http://bookbuilder.cast.org
Ferreira, K., Lawson, N., & Schuck S. (n. d. ). Silly pets. Book Builder. Retrieved from http://bookbuilder.cast.org/