Language Pattern: Familiar Cultural Pattern

Another pattern is the familiar cultural pattern. The familiar cultural pattern can be found in many children’s picture books, because this pattern includes the ABC books, number or counting books, days of the week, months, and holidays.

One book that uses numbers is Hippos Go Berzerk. This is one that my sons really enjoyed when they were little.

One hippo all alone calls two hippos on the phone. Three hippos at the door bring along another four. Five hippos overdressed. Six hippos show up as guests. We have rhyme. We have rhythm. We are also learning number words. It has the cumulative pattern. There are more and more hippos. They are going to work.

Remember, often more than one pattern is included in a children’s picture book.

Here is one, Anno’s Alphabet. This book has the letter with images all around the border of the letter. The images are of things that start with the particular letter. This book is great with young children, as well as older children, because they will know the letter that some of these images start with. The children can find them and look for them. This is an ABC book.

Here is another ABC book, Antics. This book has different words that start with the different letters of the alphabet. It repeats the ant, which is in bold print, throughout the text.

A Apple Pie is a classic book. The ABCs are used as the structure for the pattern. A Apple Pie. B bit it. C cut it. Younger children will recognize the letters. For older children, you can point out the verbs. Many activities and discussions can be planned with pattern books.

A is For America is another familiar cultural pattern. Younger children will see the letter. Older children will be more likely to listen to all the text.

For younger children, you don’t want too much text on the page. If there is too much, they are going to let you know, because they are not going to want to sit and stay with you. They are going to get up and do other things, which is okay, but that may signal that there is too much text to keep their attention.

One is one is another picture book that uses the familiar cultural pattern. It uses number concepts. You can use the book to teach number words.

One is one duckling swimming in a dish. Two is two sisters making a wish. Children can predict the words based on the pictures.

Three is three swallows up in the sky. Four is four sheep nibbling rye. The rhyming pattern is also used.

Another classic is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This book has so many possibilities. You can use it for vocabulary. It has sequence. It has a story. It has days of the week. It has numbers.

It starts with, In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf. One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and pop! Out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.

He started to look for some food. On Monday, he ate through one apple, but he was still hungry.We have the pictures. We have one apple. Then it will show pears. And the next day is Tuesday and he ate through two pears, but he was still hungry.

A lot of times a child will start reading with you, which is wonderful. You can even point out the words as you read along so that she’ll see the one-to-one correspondence with the words you are reading.

Then the book goes on to Thursday and the caterpillar is still hungry. Friday he’s still hungry. All along we are accumulating the number of things that he is eating. Saturday he eats way too much and has a stomach ache, but again we have all the words that go with all these pictures of different foods.

Then we have Sunday, so we have the sequence of the days of the week. The caterpillar is going to eat through a leaf and he’s going to feel much better, but he’s not going to be a little caterpillar any more. He’s very fat. The book shows the sequence of being in a cocoon and then becoming a beautiful butterfly. The Very Hungry Caterpillar show the progression of a caterpillar to a butterfly.

The books, Hippos Go Berzerk, Anno’s Alphabet, Antics, A Apple Pie, A is For AmericaOne is one, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar are examples of children's picture books that use the familiar cultural pattern.