Ways to Use BOOKS by Tara
BOOKS by Tara are more open-ended than the average book. They are designed to encourage full, meaningful interactive experiences and responses according to each individual’s own knowledge, feelings, and/or abilities. The books were created to be adaptable. The simple format provides a fun, flexible interactive tool that needs no batteries. You bring them to life. They promote social interaction. The following are five ways BOOKS by Tara are often used in classrooms, homes, and therapy settings:
1. INTERACTIVE TOOLS
Some individuals struggle with developing social skills; others are quite adept. No matter the starting point there is always room for improvement! The key factor in connecting with each other as human beings is establishing a communicative point – a common point of interest and focus where two or more minds meet. BOOKS by Tara make a reference point easier to establish by slowing down our fast-paced world. Each page has a single clear focus point in order to make connections easier. Even if a child or older individual is nonverbal and avoids social interaction, the books entice interest. Joint attention is a motivating starting point from which to build confidence and promote success. Positive, eureka moments of connecting with each other are an invaluable part of being human beings. As care-givers and teachers striving to promote growth and educate those we are blessed to serve, it is important that we be aware of and make every effort to establish this starting point for successful interactions. Developing social skills this way can improve one’s quality of life immensely as they become the foundation for everything else we are trying to teach. BOOKS by Tara are a simple tool designed to encourage an interactive starting point and beyond in a fun, relaxed way.
2. DIALOGIC READING
Establishing interactive communicative points is just the beginning! BOOKS by Tara were designed to be conversation books, and they are perfect to use for dialogic reading. This technique has been extensively studied as a proven way to promote attention, thinking, language development, and reading skills. It is a way of reading that engages and prompts individuals for a response/thought regarding the book’s content, assesses how to respond in a motivating and encouraging way, expands on the response to promote growth, and repeats the entire process for as long as both/all parties are having fun. Everyone learns best through experience and applying acquired knowledge. Simply listening to books is a passive experience. Dialogic reading, on the other hand, encourages active participation which is always more challenging and also rewarding.
3. SKILL BUILDING
Social language skills involve many nuances and levels. Some individuals may have a natural ability to pick up on these with ease, while others require an enormous amount of practice and experience. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as sensory issues, auditory deficits, coming from a distinct cultural background, and/or other developmental differences. No matter how impaired or fluent one is at this skill,–EVERYONE benefits from practice and positive interaction! The world is full of many types of people. The ability to communicate in a spontaneous, sensitive manner is a wonderful skill that WE ALL can improve upon with practice and experience. It is a life-long learning opportunity with the potential to LITERALLY improve our human experience as well as our world. Minds create words, and simultaneously words create minds. Words are a tool for expressing our thoughts. Understanding verbal words as well as non-verbal cues is how we comprehend the minds of others. It is always empowering to foster communication and literacy skills at whatever level your communication partner may be. BOOKS by Tara provide oodles of opportunities for refining social and communication skills. These skills include sustaining attention, sound and word formations, vocabulary, sentence formation, turn-taking, etc. etc. etc … so much of which we often take for granted is a miraculous, intricate gift to be appreciated and nurtured!
4. CONCEPTUAL AWARENESS, CREATIVE THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING
BOOKS by Tara are simple concept books that use photography to illustrate various examples of familiar, appealing themes. Our world may seem chaotic at times, but our brains begin to make sense of our world as we learn ways to organize and categorize the huge amount of phenomenon and experiences we encounter every day. There are endless ways to conceptualize our world. As we notice and connect various details and characteristics through sharing and contrasting ideas with others, we expand our own individual ability to think for ourselves within a social construct. Is there any job more important than promoting the development of thoughtful, empowered human beings? BOOKS by Tara bolster the ability to notice, perceive, reflect, abstract, connect ideas, and imagine other possibilities. A creative mind with a curious, thoughtful attitude can go a long way through life’s tough situations! BOOKS by Tara encourage such an approach by considering and emphasizing conceptual awareness beyond simply recognizing colors and shapes. Life is much too expansive and enriching to stop there. (Note: For those individuals who are ready there are free starter extension ideas available for each book).
5. WRITING PROMPTS
BOOKS by Tara are purposely wordless (mostly) to allow individuals to come up with their own interpretations. Expressive and receptive communication skills can be promoted both verbal and written activities! Putting words to the books through literacy experiences is another adaptable way to use the books for both the novice and experienced writers. As the saying goes, “A picture says a thousand words,” and each BOOKS by Tara contains a series of images to use as a platform for labeling, story-telling, categorizing, comparing/contrasting, and so on using writing and the printed word in addition to verbal discussions. Starter literacy ideas are also found on the extension pages to each book as it is another important way to promote communication skills and learning.