Background knowledge or prior knowledge is formed by life experiences. The more children know and understand about their world the easier it will be to learn, read and comprehend new information when they get in school. Prior knowledge connects to new information; how much prior understanding on a subject indicates how well new material is understood.
Story time is a great way to build background knowledge by introducing new concepts and ideas. For example, this week’s story time theme is winter. Babies and toddlers learn that it snows in winter and that it is cold in winter time. We can build snowmen in the winter. We wear jackets, hats and mittens in the winter. Knowing this will help children understand about changing seasons and weather and it will be easier for them to expand on this knowledge when in school.
In Teaching Our Youngest the U.S. Department of Education states that it is important that children are able to:
- Know about what things are and how they work.
- Learn information about the world around them.
- Extend their use of language and develop vocabulary.
- Develop children’s abilities to figure things out and to solve problems
Story time offers a wide range of experiences, topics and themes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Through stories and play they learn what things are and learn information about the world around them. They are introduced to new vocabulary and through play are able to figure out how things work.
To learn how parents and caregivers can help build background knowledge the National Center on Cultural & Linguistic Responsiveness published the following article and is a useful resource. How Parents and Families Support Background Knowledge
See you in the Story Time Room.