Close your eyes. Listen. What do you hear? At first, you might just hear noise. But, if you really focus, what sounds do you hear?
As I sit here typing, I hear the whir of the refrigerator behind me, the clicking of keys as I type, and doors closing somewhere in the distance.
This is exactly what Gabi Snyder invites readers to do in her book Listen, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. The book takes you through the day in a life of a little girl, from sun up to bedtime, highlighting all of the sounds around her.
As we entered this new year, I’ve read countless posts about people’s One Little Words for 2022 and about intentions for the year. I’ve been struck by how many people recognize the need to listen more. At the back of the book, Listen, Gabi Snyder includes definitions for various words associated with listening. This reminds me that we can help kids to also be more intentional listeners.
Inviting students to listen can be something that is added to your school day as a mindful activity. There are also many connections that can be made to paying more attention to the world around you and living your life like a writer. I imagine kids making lists of sounds that can be used in stories, to enhance their nonfiction writing, or to write poetry. Stephanie Graegin’s illustrations also beg to be studied and emulated, adding labels and sounds to drawings. Listen, is the perfect book to launch all of these invitations.