This week I will focus on sending some ideas to foster reading readiness in our preschoolers. Research tells us that reading aloud to children is the single most important activitiy for building skills essential for reading success. The following are suggestions to help you read to your child.
Why to Read to your child: Reading promotes a love for reading and models reading for your child. Reading teaches book knowledge such as beginning, middle, end, title page, author, illustator, turning the page, how to hold a book. Reading teaches print awareness such as reading right to left, reading top to bottom, letters/words/sentences, capital letters and lowercase letters, and that print has meaning. Reading can teach concepts, facilitate discussions and expand knowledge and language.
What to read:
1. Read books that you and your child are interested in and have some connection for your child. (My son was interested in animals as a young child and we read lots of books about animals..especially penguins.)
2. Read books that are predictable with rhythmic language and repetition of words and phrases. (“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You see'” by Eric Carle is a wonderful example of rhythm and repitition)
3. Read books with colorful pictures/illustrations–Picture Books.
4. Read books that are easy to read and do not have too many words on the page.
5. Read print in other forms such as: lists, schedules, calendars, recipes, evironmental print such as signs and notices, labels on new toy boxes, cracker or cereal boxes, instructions, the newspaper, or a magazine.
Some of my favorite authors for preschoolers are:
Eric Carle-The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Bill Martin Jr. Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom
Mo Williams-Elephant and Piggie, Pigeon
Donald Crews-Frieght Train
Dr. Seuss–One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. etc.
Laura Numeroff-If You Give A Mouse a Cookie, etc.
Eric Litwin & James Dean–Pete the Cat
Margaret Wise Brown–Goodnight Moon
Ezra Jack Keats–The Snowy Day
Karma Wilson –Bear Snores On
Marice Sendack–Where the Wild Things Are.
When to read: Read every day to your child and establish a reading time within in your daily routine. It is recommended to read 5 books a day to your child. (A recent study found that by reading 5 books per day to children before they start kindergarten means they could learn 1.4 million more words than children who were never read to.)
How to Read:
1. Introduce the book by talking about the author, illustrator, and title. Ask your child questions about what they think the book is about.
2. While reading you can point to the words as you say them and ask your child questions about the pictures on the page. Point out familiar words or letters while you are reading. Ask you child to predict what will happen next. Discuss any word definitions/meanings that may be new to your child. Also, if you are reading a familiar book, let your child help you read by pausing so your child can help “read” by saying a word/phrase.
3. After reading the story ask your child to recall what happened in the story and tell you what they liked about the story.
4. Read the book again….Children benefit from reading a book multiple times!
Have fun reading books today!