“Are You My Mother” by PD Eastman is one of the the most compelling books for three and four year-old children because of the way PD Eastman instills a “Baby Bird” that has just hatched, with determination and confidence. Rather than being helpless or passive, the baby bird adventures forth to find his missing mother and shows persistence and confidence that he will succeed.
Reading this story empowers young children who often are fine tuning their feelings of attachment and separation with parents and significant others. At Rhinebeck Community Nursery School, we use children’s literature to spring board conversations and support children’s feelings of independence, competence and determination.
When recently reading The Foundations for the Common Core in Prekindergarten (The most recent New York State preschool curriculum guidelines and goals)
I was inordinately pleased to see that their Social and Emotional Development section was presented with as much specific detail, weight and value as those sections of Cognitive Development and Language & Literacy.
The first section also spoke to my Child Development background and belief that teachers of young children must create learning environments that address the development of the whole child. So often academics dominate. This section they called Approaches to Learning. Under this heading they listed: Engagement (Actively and confidently engages in play as a means of exploration and learning), Creativity and Imagination, Curiosity and Initiative, and Persistence.
“Are You My Mother?” uses a small baby bird to model persistence, meeting the developmental needs of young children and The New York State Foundations for the Common Core, simultaneously.