While teaching Pre-K for many years I learned a thing or two about getting the most out of reading aloud to children and I thought I would share those ideas and concepts that will no doubt set the foundation for important literacy skills.
Before Reading The Story:
- Introduce the book- read the title
- Read the author and illustrator- Explain that the author is the person who wrote the words and the illustrator is the person who drew the pictures. This teaches them that books have different parts. Someone created those pictures and wrote those words therefore words and pictures have meaning.
- Make predictions! Preschool age children LOVE this! What do you think the story is about? By doing this you are encouraging them to think about the content of the story and to predict by looking at the illustrations, tying back to pictures have meaning.
During The Story:
- Point out unfamiliar words. i.e frustrated- What do you think that means? You can even make a vocabulary journals of new words and add those words to the journal.
- Allow time to look and talk about the pictures. An early pre-reading skill is telling the story through pictures, so encourage this!! Pictures are just as important as text.
- Talk about the characters and events in the story. Ask open-ended questions (questions that will provoke thought not just yes or no questions). i.e. How do you think that made him feel?
- When possible connect story events to their lives. Remember when we went on a train?
After The Story:
- Recall- Go back to those predictions in the beginning and ask about the events. i.e. What happened to the alligator? Why was there paint all over?
- Occasionally have your child retell the story to you in their own words. This is an excellent way to improve comprehension!!
Most of all Have fun together!! Snuggle! Get cozy! Enjoy these intimate moments of sharing a good book!!