Do you read aloud to your children every day, but wonder what you can do to sneak in a little extra learning? Reading aloud is a wonderful opportunity to share a few quality minutes with our children snuggling and enjoying a book. But, did you know you can easily transform a read aloud into an instructional moment with very little prep and without your child even knowing that he may be learning something, too? All it takes is a few questions before, during, and after reading.
- What do you already know about (topic of book)? (activating background knowledge)
- Look at the picture on the cover and the title of the book. What do you think is going to happen? (making predictions)
- As you read, confirm your child’s prediction. Was it correct? If not, discuss what happened instead.
- Ask your child questions to clear up points of confusion as you read.
- What does this book remind you of? (making connections to the text)
- Ask your child to retell you the story. What happened at the beginning? The middle? The end? (summarize the text)
These questions touch on common comprehension strategies that good readers use to understand text. If we emphasize and model how to use some of these strategies at home, we begin to create a solid reading foundation for our children. A few questions and you’ve “kicked it up a notch”!
If you would like more information on teaching common comprehension strategies to your child, I suggest reading 7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It! by Susan Zimmerman and Chryse Hutchins.
This post originally appeared as a guest post on Classroom Talk.
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