Developed by: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Children and adults alike will enjoy this hilarious book. It’s a tale with a familiar storyline: Boy wants something. Boy gets something. Boy soon realizes that what he wanted is much more difficult than expected. As readers soon will see, in the words of the legendary Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes, you just might find…you get what you need.”
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities.
- Hey, Brother; Hey, Sister: Ask your child questions like these to activate background knowledge: What is it like to have a sibling? (If your child doesn’t have a sibling, ask, “What do you think it would be like if you had a sibling?) What is/would be great about having a sibling? What is/would be annoying about having a sibling? Explain that this story is called Big Little Brother because even though the main character is older, his younger brother is actually TALLER than him (hence the words “BIG” little brother).
- Grrrr! Elicit empathy by talking to your child about what it means to be frustrated. Have him/her tell you about a time when s/he was frustrated about something. You may want to discuss how some people get frustrated if things do not turn out the way they planned. Tell your child that in this book, the older brother gets frustrated with some of the things that his younger brother does.
- Hotspots: Explain to your child that this app lets readers become part of the story through “hotspots”. Hotspots are predetermined points on the screen that enable interactivity. For example, a reader in this story could flip a light switch on/off or tap a character to hear his innermost thoughts. Encourage your child to explore the interactive features of this app to fully experience the story.
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities.
Discuss new vocabulary heard in the app, such as:
As your child goes through the story, stop every now and then to chunk information and monitor comprehension. For example, you may choose to:
Talk about opposites. Ask: What is the opposite of big? (little) What other opposite words do you know? (hot/cold; high/low; dark/light, etc.) Look for examples of these opposites in the app. For instance, dark/light is shown on the screen with the light switch!
Extend the app experience with one of these real life activities.
- Thankful Hearts: In this story, the big brother and little brother help each other out in different ways. Give your child an opportunity to say, “Thank you” to someone who has done something nice for him/her. Ask: What did that person do? How did it make you feel? Write a short thank you note and/or draw a picture of what that person did to help. Mail the thank you note to that special person!
- Act it Out!: Reinforce vocabulary development by acting out opposite words! First, let your child brainstorm a list of as many opposite words as s/he can. Then have your child pick two words to act out. If choosing fast/slow, have your child run as fast as s/he can from one point to another. Next, have him/her walk as s-l-o-w-l-y as s/he can. What’s the opposite of sleepy? Awake! Have your child show you what it means to be sleepy vs. awake. The possibilities are endless!
- Shadows Everywhere!: Explain to your child that shadows could be thought of as “holes in light”. Shine a flashlight onto a blank wall. Have your child discover what happens when s/he blocks parts of the light with different objects. Try using parts of the body, a stuffed animal, or a favorite fruit or vegetable!
- Bully Prevention: The pre-Thanksgiving Day scene in this app shows a mean bully who is not nice to the big brother. Safely explore the idea of bullying in an age-appropriate way by showing your child some of the videos from this link, developed by Sesame Street.