Ukaliq & Kalla is an educational preschool television series that aims to prepare young children for their first years at school by promoting early literacy, math skills, and social skills.On this page, you will find strategies that you can use as a parent, guardian, or educator to help support young children as they begin to learn how to read, write, and do simple math. You will also find printable posters with community safety tips, and links to other educational websites and apps.
Developing early literacy skills at home
Creating a home environment that promotes the acquisition of early literacy skills does not have to take a lot of effort.
Consider the following:
Establish a literate environment.
- Show your child that books have value by setting aside a special place such as a bookshelf or area in the house where books are kept.
- Make reading a part of your daily routine. Reading with your child at the same time each day shows that reading is important.
- Find a quiet and comfortable place to read to your child. Limit distractions by turning off the television, radio, or other electronic devices, and turn off notifications on e-readers.
- Let your child see you read and write. Children are always interested in what adults are doing. If your child sees you reading and writing for pleasure, they may become curious about reading and writing, too!
- Talk with your child as you do chores around the house, as you take a walk in the community, or during mealtimes. Regular conversations about different and familiar topics introduces and reinforces the use of varied vocabulary.
- Tell your own stories to your child and encourage your child to tell their own stories.
- Provide opportunities for your child to colour, draw, and paint. The more experiences your child has with these activities, the more prepared they will be to learn how to write when they start school.Show your child that books have value by setting aside a special place such as a bookshelf or area in the house where books are kept.
Make reading fun!
- Read to your child with expression in your voice and use different voices for different characters or parts of the story.
- As you read through a book, talk to your child about the pictures or interesting words. Ask simple questions about what your child predicts will happen next (i.e., “do you think the bear will come back again?”) and about what they see and hear in the story.
- Encourage your child to engage with the story by asking them to point out words and objects they find interesting.
- Show your child how to make personal connections to a book. For example, if a book is about a particular animal, talk about your own experiences with the animal.
- Re-read favourite books many times to your child. This will help build vocabulary and familiarity with reading.
- Once your child is familiar with a book, encourage them to “read” the book to you, using the pictures.
- Let your child share the responsibility of choosing books to read and encourage them to develop opinions about the types of books they like to have read to them.
- Make puppets to act out and retell the stories in familiar books.
Develop print awareness.
- Point out different types of print around the home to your child. This may include the print seen on food containers such as cereal boxes or milk cartons.
- Create labels for common objects around your house, such as the garbage can, a door, or a chair. Point out the labels to your child and read the labels to them.
- As you move around the community, point out and read different types of print to your child such as road signs, license plates, or building signs.
- Occasionally, point to some of the words in the book as you read. This will introduce your child to the idea that spoken and written words are connected.
Use the community.
- If there is a public library in your community, visit the library regularly with your child and let them choose books they are interested in reading.
- Attend community events with your child that encourage literacy such as storytelling events or cultural events such as singing, drumming, or Inuit games.
- Encourage extended family members and friends to share stories with your child.
Developing early mathematical concepts at home
Math is more than just numbers. It also includes measurement, geometry, spatial sense, and patterning. Different developmentally appropriate mathematical concepts can be introduced and explored at home with preschoolers through every day routines and play. Consider the following:
- Count food items (such as crackers) or toys (such as blocks) as your child is eating or playing.
- Demonstrate simple addition and subtraction as concepts by counting forwards and backwards as you add to or take away from a group of toys.
- Point out numbers in print around the house such as in books, on calendars, on phones, etc.
- Let your child help you measure ingredients when you are cooking.
- Talk about common shapes and connect the shape names to familiar objects in the home.
- Demonstrate the concept of patterning with toys. For example, use building blocks to build a colour or shape pattern.
- Use mathematical language such as big/small, close/far, fat/thin, and long/short to compare common items.
- Encourage your child to do sorting activities such as asking your child to sort the laundry (socks, shirts, pants, etc.) or sort their toys when tidying up.
- Encourage your child to think about how to solve simple problems. For example, if your child does not have a spoon to eat their stew, ask them what they can do. They might decide that they can go and get one themselves or ask you to get one for them
Here you can find printable Ukaliq & Kalla posters with tips on staying safe in your community while biking, camping, or boating.
The Nunavut Bilingual Education Society (NBES) is a community-based, non-profit society concerned with the preservation, protection, and promotion of Inuit oral history, cultural knowledge, and language. There are several Inuktitut language children’s books available for free download, including Ukaliq and Kalla Go Fishing.
National Reading Campaign has a vision to create, sustain and grow a society in which everyone has an equal opportunity to become and remain a lifelong reader.
Illitaqsiniq promotes and supports literacy initiatives in the official languages of Nunavut with respect for the principles of community capacity building and development.
It Starts at Home is a family engagement resource for Nunavut schools.
Inhabit Media is an Inuit-owned, independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic, aiming to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of the Canadian Arctic.
Uqausiit Pinnguarutiit is an Inuit language app that provides young children with fun activities that support shape and sound recognition, as well as vocabulary development.
Download the app on iTunes and in the Google Play Store! Titirariuqsauti is an Inuit language learning app that provides young children with fun activities that introduce symbol sounds and printing paths. Download the app on iTunes and in the Google Play Store!