Would you like to have your child read with confidence and increased comprehension? Here are five simple ideas to accomplish this:
- When your young child gets a new book, or revisits an old favorite book, let him look through all the pictures before starting to read. In education, we call this "taking a picture walk" through the book. This increases curiosity and heightens focus.
- After the "picture walk," go back to the book cover or first large picture in the story. Ask, "What do you think this story is about?" Then ask, "How can you tell by this picture?" This helps your child begin think about the main idea of the story.
- As your child begins to read, ask "Who are the characters on this page?" "Can you tell what they are doing?" This helps your child identify actions that are happening in the story.
- After a few more pictures ask: "Where do you think this story takes place?" "How does the picture help you know that?" Establishing the setting of the story helps your child understand where the action is taking place.
- As your child continues to read and look at the pictures ask, "Has that ever happened to you?" Or, "What would you have done?" In education, we call this creating a "Self-to-Text" connection. The more "Self-to-Text" connections a child can make while reading personalizes their understanding of the story.
Focusing on small segments of the story, through pictures and words, helps your child clearly piece together the main idea of the story.