We all know that picture books play a significant role in every child’s language development. Our Chinese immersion and elementary program also consists of a lot of picture book read-alouds. Why are picture books so powerful? One reason for this is that the picture book is a multi-sensory tool which stimulates children’s auditory, visual and kinesthetic senses simultaneously.
Every child has his/her own learning style with one mode usually stronger than the other two. However, when all the three senses are combined together, the information is reinforced that it is easier for children to understand, remember and recall. Using three avenues of senses together is especially helpful for children to understand the new language.
The following is an example of multisensory learning with one of the most popular picture books at Chinese with Meggie: Go to Bed Soon（《快点睡觉吧》）. The auditory sense is about hearing. In our classes, children hear the story in Chinese. However, if they do not see the illustrations, they cannot fully understand the Chinese. Therefore, at the same time, they set off their visual sense by reading illustrations. Easily, they get to understand the whole story. But where does the kinesthetic sense go? During read-alouds, the story is accompanied by the teacher’s different gestures. For instance, she covers her ears to indicate: “Too noisy! Too noisy!（太吵啦！太吵啦！）” She puts her finger on her lips when she says: “Be quiet.（嘘，小声。）” Some children love mimicking the teacher and they connect the gestures with the Chinese sounds at the same time. Through multisensory immersion with picture books, children get exposed to new and interesting Chinese words throughout the class.
Now Chinese with Meggie has also made picture books into videos. The new way of reading enables our children to read picture books in Chinese at home. They will love it. The following is a list of picture book videos we have already uploaded to Chinese with Meggie’s Youtube Channel. More videos are on their way!