Early Literacy Aside--Explain: When we talk about a story after reading it, we are helping our children remember what we have read. Having your children retell the story takes it a step further to help them develop narrative skills, which will later help them understand what they read.Read the book Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant. Point out the different sounds and animals out at night. Describe the pictures. Ask children questions about what they think about at nighttime. How do you feel? What do you hear? Early Literacy Aside--Example: As I read the book you saw how I asked some questions to make the book more personal for the children and to help them relate it to their own experiences. This is one way to help children understand the book better. Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Talking about experiences and what your child is thinking about can enhance the book. Books often expose our children to different ideas and to things they may not otherwise see. This interactive experience of discussing what your child thinks about nighttime is also a way to develop your child's narrative skills and their background knowledge, what they know abour the world. Both will help them understand what they read when they learn to read.
Submitted by Sharon Lindsay, Rockbridge Branch, Bath County (VA) Public Library