When you introduce a new book, you:

*Create enthusiasm for the book
*Invite discussion about new or difficult words
*Encourage children to discuss new ideas and concepts


(Choose a book your child hasn’t read before)

*Look at the book, learn its characters, setting, and plot before you read it

*With your child, read the title, author, and illustrator

*Discuss the cover, end pages, and ask your child, “What do you think the book is about?”

*Go through each page quickly looking at the pictures  (Do not read yet)

*Have your child predict what will happen

*Read the story to your child or have them read it to you  

(Depends on level)

*Revise or confirm your child’s predictions

When you give your child prompts as you readyou:

*Help them read without frustration
*Help them work out words themselves
*Help them notice and correct their own mistakes
*Reinforce good reading strategies.

How to PROMPT:

*Sit close to your child

*Introduce book, discuss title, author, cover, and illustrator

*Praise child as they read or notice things on the page

*Take time to ask and answer questions, explore the pictures, and wonder what will happen next

*When child stops reading or makes a mistake, wait 5 seconds

*When your child doesn’t start reading again or makes the same mistake, use the following prompts:

*Ask a question to help them work it out:

"Does it make sense? What would sound right? What would look right?"

* Suggest they go back to the beginning of the word and track sounds from left to right.

*Tell him or her the word

How to EXTEND:

*Try some hands-on learning or make-believe fun. 

*Help your child make connections to her personal experience to support her growing knowledge.


The widespread belief that reading is essentially a process of saying the words rather than actively constructing meaning from texts is a growing and common problem for more and more students. For example, one of my students looked surprised when I asked him to describe the topic discussed in a section of text he had just read. “I don’t know what it was about,” he answered, with no sense of irony. “I was busy reading. I wasn’t paying attention.”
(Schoenbach et al. 1999, p. 6)

In my opinion, the overall purpose of reading is to connect the ideas on the page to what you already know, and students need to begin to view reading as an active search for meaning within their control.

 There are many ways to teach and reinforce comprehension.  One easy way is to stop and ask questions along the way.  Below are some good questions and pointers. 
Happy Reading!

Below are some questions you could ask to gather information:

·   Tell me what has really stuck in your mind so far.
·   Explain why that part seems important.
·   Where does the story take place? What kind of place is it?
·   Tell me what you know about the character so far.
·   At this point in the story (or an important part the reader mentioned), what do you imagine the character might be feeling and why?
·   Tell me about any themes or issues that you are noticing.
·   Are there any lessons so far that you think the character is learning or could learn?
·   How would you describe this genre and what do you know about it?

(The reader does not have to answer all of these questions – this is a sample of questions that will lead you to an understanding of how your child is comprehending the text.  The first four questions are literal and inferential, the last four indicate that your child is able to be quite insightful in the text.)

Tips for reading nonfiction books with kids:

1.  Wonder out loud. As you are reading, or afterward, talk about facts you find interesting or questions you have.

2.  Show your child how to use the table of contents, section headings, index, and word list (glossary) to find the answer to a specific question.

3.  Don’t be afraid to jump around, reading pages that especially interest your child.  You don’t have to read a nonfiction book straight through.

Tips for reading fiction books with kids:

1.  Take your time and talk about the story with your child.

2.   Ask your child questions.

3.   Explore the pictures with your child.

4.   Read with expression.  Change your voice or how fast you read to create excitement.  Ham it up!

5.   You don’t need to read every word. Keeping your child interested is the goal.