Reading is a huge part of our lives and our children’s lives. Books teach our children a variety of skills beyond reading the words on the page. Sometimes reading can be challenging for our children but there are other things we can work on to help our children learn and gain confidence in reading.
Book and Print Awareness
Book and print awareness includes learning how to open a book and turn pages. This helps children to learn that we read and write from left to right. During this time, you can also point out the title, author, and illustrator of the book. Be sure to tell your child that the author is the person who writes the book, and the illustrator is the person who draws the pictures.
Children can use the pictures in the book to help predict what will happen in the story. Before reading the next page, let your child look at the picture and guess what will happen next. If there aren’t any pictures, children can still make predictions by reading the page and asking themselves what will happen next in the story.
Asking your child comprehension questions about the book will help your child develop reading comprehension skills. You can ask wh-questions (who, what, where, when, why, how) which include examples like:
You can ask comprehension questions throughout the story or at the end!
Help your child build vocabulary by stopping at words that are tricky for your child to read or words that you think your child may not understand. When you found a word talk about that word: what category is it from? What does it do? Where is it found? What it looks like? Etc. You might want to look at a picture of the vocabulary word to help answer the following questions.
For example: In reading a book about the jungle and you come across the word python which is a word you do not think your child understand, ask your child the following questions:
Expand on your child’s reading skills by practicing book and print awareness; making predictions; answering reading comprehension questions; and expanding vocabulary.
Written by Morgan Zenner, Registered Speech-Language Pathologist