Let's get Ready for Reading: A fun and easy guide to help kids become readers...so what else is in the guide continued...
As you read with your child, take time to talk together about the book. Don’t feel the need to read the book straight through to the end without stopping before you can have these discussions. It is perfectly alright to stop on a page as you are reading and point to the pictures asking questions like, “What’s this?” or “What are they doing?” Try to ask questions that can’t be answered with “yes” or “no”.
Give them time to consider your question and what is happening in the picture on the page. Also, give them time to think about what you have just read to them thus far in the story. Encourage your child to ask you questions about the story too. You can also add to what they respond to you, for example, if they say, “Dog” you might say, “That’s right! It’s a big brown dog and he’s digging a hole in the grass.”
Ask them what they think is going to happen next. Encourage them to use their imagination to predict and describe to you how they think the story will unfold or end. Once you have read through the story ask them to tell you what happened at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. Ask questions like, “What happened next?” and “Why did that happen?” and “What part did you like best?”
Wordless picture books are great for encouraging your child’s storytelling skills. They also encourage the use of descriptive language. By giving your child the opportunity to tell a story in their own way, with their own words, you encourage their self-esteem and confidence, but also stimulate their inventive and creative thinking – imagination is a wonderful thing, especially that of a child’s.
Here are some of my favourite wordless picture books:
It is important to note that, your child does not need to be preschool age (3-5 years) in order for you to be doing this with them. Get into the habit of engaging your child in this manner almost immediately. At first you will be asking and answering all the questions, but as your child’s language skills develop they will begin to respond to you, already having an understanding of the interaction from you.
For more on this tip and many others see pages 30 to 33 of Let’s get Ready for Reading: A fun and easy guide to help kids become readers.
Join us again next Friday for another tip from the Guide!