I was asked recently what I “do” when reading out loud to Avery to keep her attention and to enhance her learning. Here it goes;
Boost your child’s reading comprehension skills by incorporating these simple activities into your read-aloud time:
- Look at the cover and read the title. Ask, “What do you think this story will be about?” Always read the title, author & illustrator. It’s important to know that the author “wrote the story,” and the illustrator “made the pictures.”
- Take a picture walk before reading – look at all the pictures, or just the first few. Ask, “What do you think is going to happen in this story?” At this point I let Avery do this on her own before I read the book to her.
- Stop reading mid-story and ask, “What do you think will happen next?” or “How do you think this problem is going to be solved?” This helps make sure she is paying attention…
- Be sure to revisit your predictions when you finish reading the story. Were your predictions correct?
Think aloud and ask questions while you read. Encourage them to ask questions too, especially the classic kid question, “Why?”
- I wonder why …
- What would have happened if ….?
- What do you think about …?
- Do you have a better solution?
- Encourage your child to use the pictures of a familiar book to retell the story to you. This is like them “reading” to you.
- Before you start a new chapter, help your child retell what happened in the last chapter.
- Connect with a character: Would you have made the same choices? Which character are you most like?
- Connect with an emotion: How do you think (character) felt? Have you ever felt like that?
- Connect with a place: What do you think it’s like to live there? Would you want to visit this place?
- Connect with another story: This reminds me of another story we have read …
It helps that she loves being read to and likes reading to us too. I take her to the library about every other week so she can pick out the books we read. Right now we are readying through a series called “Flower Fairy Books.” Each book is 5 or 6 chapters, so we are reading about 1 a week. They are about different flower fairy and their adventures in the Flower Fairy Garden. Right now we are reading about Candytuft. I have no idea how many books are in the series, but I think it will take us a while to get through them all! She also likes to pick out the “level 1” books to read to us. She can pretty much read the level 1 to us without much help. Now for the challenge of level 2 books!