Children's Learning Materials Written and Illustrated by Erika Nielsen
Young children are particularly receptive to learning a language. They are fascinated by new words that they don't normally encounter in their daily lives, so it is a great time to introduce them to new words and concepts.
The children's learning materials by Erika Nielsen are written using fairly simple, easy-to-understand vocabulary, occasionally using words that children are probably not familiar with to pique their interest in a novel concept. She hopes that this would prompt the child to ask the adult reading to them: "What does this mean?" which would provide the opportunity for the adult to explain both the meaning of the word and the concept behind it.
In writing fables, she uses a time-tested educational style that both instructs and entertains. There are no heroes or villains; the world is presented as complex, where characters have to make moral choices and use these effective early learning strategies to succeed. Some concepts are gently suggested but not explained, in which case it is up to the adult reader to decide how much or how little personal moral beliefs they wish to share with the child.
The author does not impose any moral structure on the readers, allowing the teacher or parent to impart meaning to the story.
In this way, the story is not only entertaining but also represents a vehicle for communication.
However, the adult always has the option of not adding anything, playing out the part of each character. In this way, children can use their own judgment regarding which character’s perspective and reasoning they find more appealing. The decision-making process encourages independent thinking.
For children who don't read yet or are just beginning to learn to read, pictorial representation is a primary way of obtaining information and a system for forming an emotional map of a story. Erika Nielsen made an effort to draw her illustrations because she wanted to write the "whole story," not just the verbal part. The pictures complement, elucidate, extend, and, sometimes, even contradict the narrative in small ways to see if the listeners are paying attention. As a result, a careful listener is faced with a choice: "Do I believe the verbal narrative, my own eyes, or should I come up with my explanation to rectify the contradiction that I see?" This is an excellent way to develop reasoning skills and encourage independent thinking.
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