This month on Literacy Toolbox, I will share resources to help parents explicitly teach their child comprehension strategies when reading. Good readers use these strategies without even thinking about it. It is our job as parents and educators to teach our children how to use these strategies so that they become second nature to them as they read independently.
Visualization is another fun and somewhat easy comprehension strategy to model for children. Visualizing means picturing in your mind what is going on in the text. Good readers visualize what is going on in the text to help them to better understand the text.
To encourage your child to visualize, read aloud Dear Mr. Blueberry (Aladdin Picture Books) by Simon James. Dear Mr. Blueberry (Aladdin Picture Books) is about a little girl named Emily who discovers a whale living in the pond in her yard. She wants to learn more about whales, so she begins a correspondence with her teacher, Mr. Blueberry. Mr. Blueberry provides her with details about whales, but is also adamant that a whale couldn’t possibly be living in her pond. The pictures tell the reader otherwise.
- The illustrator never depicts Mr. Blueberry. After reading aloud the book, discuss with your child what Mr. Blueberry may look like. Choose a specific page and re-read it to your child. Give him a piece of paper and ask him to draw what he thinks Mr. Blueberry looks like.
Use your read aloud time to sneak in some comprehension strategy lessons without missing a beat. The likelihood is that you will discuss the book anyway, so make your discussion a bit more focused and your child will begin to learn a few strategies as you model them. As you read aloud other books to your child, choose a specific page to read aloud (without showing the picture) and ask your child to draw a picture of what he/she visualizes. Then compare pictures and ask your child how his picture differs from the illustrator’s version.
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