Dr Lakeisha Johnson on Maya’s Book Nook and diversity in books

In this interview, Dr. Johnson shares her ‘MUST’ acronym for book selection: Multicultural characters, Unique vocabulary, Story grammar components, readable in Ten minutes. Use CROWD questions when reading aloud. Visit her website Maya's Book Nook for diverse books, literacy resources.
· November 6, 2020

Dr Lakeisha Johnson received her doctorate in Communication Sciences and Disorders with an emphasis in literacy implications for culturally and linguistically diverse populations from Florida State University in 2012.

She is a Professor at Florida State University in the Communication Science and Disorders program.

Her primary research interests include language, literacy, dialect, and executive function development in African American children and other at-risk populations.

In this session, Dr. Johnson shares her passion for promoting language and literacy skills in young children through diverse and multicultural books. As an assistant professor researching communication disorders and a mother nurturing a love of reading in her daughter Maya, Dr. Johnson provides invaluable insights for educators and families on choosing quality books and using them to enrich learning.

Dr. Johnson reveals her MUST acronym for evaluating books – they should include Multicultural characters, Unique vocabulary, Story grammar, and be readable in Ten minutes or less. She explains how reading the same book repeatedly allows you to target different skills each time. Her CROWD method ensures you ask a variety of question types when reading aloud. Distancing questions that move beyond the book are excellent for critical thinking.

Key learning points:

  • Use books as a springboard for extension activities – making connections to children’s lives deepens understanding. Books can teach almost any concept or skill.
  • Get creative to build your diverse books collection on a budget – utilize libraries, discounted sales, subscriptions and digital resources. Rotate your shelves to refresh old favorites.
  • Make read-alouds interactive – use dialogic reading strategies like MUST and CROWD to stimulate language development, vocabulary growth, and critical thinking.

Dr. Johnson’s passion shines as she describes favourite childhood and current books. Her daughter Maya demonstrates a love of reading fostered from an early age. Visit Maya’s Book Nook for diverse book lists, educator resources and literacy tips. Ignite young imaginations and expand minds with the magic of shared storytimes.

This episode was originally broadcast on the 6th of November 2020


You can find MUST have here:  https://mayasbooknook.com/2018/05/17/m-u-s-t-haves-when-choosing-books/Facebook @‌mayasbooknookTwitter @‌mayasbooknookJust like Me Box https://www.justlikemebox.com/Vooks https://www.vooks.com/

Scholastic https://www.scholastic.co.uk/

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