Learning from Home Ideas: Pop-up Storybook to Stimulate Children’s Interest in Reading

Global pandemic has affected various aspects of life, including in education sector. In Indonesia, President Joko Widodo conveyed on March 15, 2020 the policy of handling the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia. Among them are policies on the learning and working process from home, and improvement of COVID-19 testing and treatment services. “With this condition, it’s time for us to work from home, learn from home, worship at home, … We want this to become a community movement so that the COVID-19 issue can be handled optimally,” said President Joko Widodo.

Policies related to the teaching and learning process during the pandemic were issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture on March 24th through Circular Letter No. 4 of 2020 concerning the Implementation of Education Policy in the Emergency Spread of Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19). The learning from home policy (BDR) has also been implemented by the government for all educational institutions in the country. In facing the situation, teachers also need to be more creative in delivering their lessons on various subjects to their students. The role of parents is no less important in supporting the learning process of their children during this circumstances. In literacy learning, one of the ideas that can be done by teachers as well as parents is creating pop up scrapbook. A primary school teacher in Probolinggo, East Java, Yulia Rahmawati, S.Pd, shares her ideas.

In Probolinggo District, East Java, teacher in SDN Krejengan Yulia Rahmawati, S.Pd has this learning idea to help improve student’s literacy skills, particularly in the early grades.

According to Yulia, learning to read in the first years of primary school her main goal. Students need to develop their knowledge, skills, and experiences needed for reading comprehension as it is critical for retention and success in future grades.

Previously, Yulia was only fixated on ways that could make her students able to read, especially since some students had difficulty identifying the ‘a’ to ‘z’ letters. Sometimes, frustration made her scolded her students which she hoped would make her students to learn more at home.

This kind of teaching practice continued when Yulia taught in the early grades since the 2017/2018 school year, in which she was assigned to teach in the early grades at SDN Krejengan.

However, her methods of teaching gradually changed after she joined the literacy program implemented by INOVASI and Kolaborasi Literasi Bermakna – a coalition of four organizations (IniBudi, Keluarga Kita, Kampus Guru Cikal, and the Center for Education and Policy Studies/PSPK) with a vision to improve the quality of Indonesian children’s education through collaboration and capacity building of stakeholders particularly teachers, parents, and local governments. Through the program, Yulia learned many things including knowledge related to the concept of guru merdeka belajar, classroom agreements, positive discipline, and teaching meaningful literacy.

From the training conducted through the Kampus Guru Cikal activities, Yulia also found creative ideas to create her own teaching aid to help stimulate students’ reading interest. As a result, students became more interested in reading, and eventually can learn to understand the story. ‘Moveable Book’ is the name of the teaching aid created by Yulia, a pop-ups storybooks with interesting pictures to bring reading to life and give interactive reading experience.

An easy to make pop-ups storybooks

To make this pop-up storybooks is very simple and does not require complicated materials, only office stationeries such as, buffalo paper, masking tape, double-sided tape, scissors, glue, pencils and interesting pictures. Yulia created her own story, where each paragraph is illustrated with pictures. The pictures can be made or even from the internet.

After all the materials ready, it is important to make sure the pictures can literally pop out from the book. To do that, first cut the rectangular buffalo paper which is then folded on both sides. Secondly, cut out the middle section of the paper in a rectangular shape, the folded part is given a double-sided tape, then stick it to the inside of the book. When turning the pages, the pictures would be able to pop out just like watching a live performance.

Positive Change in the Classroom

Although this media is very simple and inexpensive, but the experience made the reading lessons in Yulia’s class change significantly. Students who were initially reluctant to learn are now enjoying reading, and are more enthusiastic, they even requested more stories to Yulia.

“What makes me very happy is that my students are very enthusiastic listening to the stories that I read to them. They also can’t wait to read together the stories in the pop-up storybook. I noticed that students who are still not fluent in reading are actively involved and interact with their friends if they can’t identify a letter, word, or even the flow of the story,” said Yulia happily.

Seeing these changes, Yulia believes that creativities are needed in the learning process and teacher must always try to understand what the interest of the children. This is in order to get children’s attention, attract their interest in reading, make the learning process easier for children to learn to read, and stimulate children’s thinking and reasoning.

“After all, the world of children is a world of play, we as teachers must provide students with a teaching and learning process that are meaningful, memorable, and enjoyable,” said Yulia.

Learning from Home Ideas: Pop-up Storybook to Stimulate Children’s Interest in Reading