For your children to grow smart, it is a must for them to become bookworms early. The benefits of reading to children cannot be overemphasized. You, as a parent or educator, can form your children’s reading habit by starting them early – from babies & preschool kids to young adults and into adulthood. The loving environment created by reading to your young children will help them associate reading with your warmth, and this conditions their minds to feel that reading is a positive, pleasurable activity.
Before Reading -
Introduce the author by saying something like: Remember how much we enjoyed ________ by this author? Do you remember what we liked about that story? Here’s another book by him/her. Let’s read this one and see if we like it as well as the other book we read.
Show the cover of the book. Ask children what they think the title might be and what the story will be about.
Discuss what they know about the topic.
Provide information about the setting, characters, and where the story takes place. With older children, talk about the genre (fiction, nonfiction, folk tale, myth, mystery, science fiction, fable).
Set a purpose for reading and signal that the reading will begin by saying something like: I’m going to begin reading and while I do, listen carefully to see if you can figure out what problem Stellaluna had and how it is was solved.
During Reading -
Ask questions and make elaborations (add more information) during the read aloud. For example, questions and elaborations should help children:
Understand the meanings of unfamiliar words Sultry is a word we don’t hear often. It means warm and damp, no breeze.
Make predictions What do you think will happen next? What makes you think that?
More deeply interpret the meaning of the book Do you think Stellaluna meant to be naughty by hanging by her feet?
Understand difficult concepts. What did the birds and bats learn from each other? How can people learn from each other?
Children will ask questions of you also. Answer their questions patiently; don’t ignore them or put them off.
Discuss the illustrations and how they relate to the story.
Stop periodically and have children recap in their own words what has happened so far. Fill in the gaps of missing information or clarify misconceptions.
After Reading -
Give children time to reflect on and think about the reading. Ask them to describe their favorite part and why it was their favorite.
Review the story components, such as the setting, main character’s problem, how the problem was resolved.
Ask questions to encourage children to think about why events may have happened the way they did; why people in the story behaved in a certain way; what the children would have done the same or differently and why.
Help children make connections between the events in the story and their own lives. For example, Have you ever felt out-of-place like Stellaluna did? How did you feel? What did you do?
Have children read the story to you
Provide follow-up activities to extend the impact of the shared reading experiences.
Use these methods and tips the next time you read to your class or child. Share these tips with others on your social networks and let us know how you are teaching your kids to read on our social networks. We love hearing from you!