Interactive Reading

Children get ready to read and become strong readers by spending lots of time reading and being read to.  Experts recommend reading to your child at least 20 minutes (or more!) per day beginning at birth.  For young children, those 20 minutes don’t need to happen all at once.  Five minutes here, ten minutes there quickly add up.  Making reading more than a listening experience makes it even more impactful.  Here are some suggestions for making reading interactive. 

What You Need: 

  • Books 
  • Imagination 
  • Curiosity 

What You Do: 

  1. Make predictions.  Before diving into a book, use the title and cover illustration to make predictions about what the story is about.  Think aloud to model how you make predictions so your child can start to use similar thinking strategies.  For example, say, “I see a wolf and three little pigs on the cover.  The pigs look scared.  I predict that the wolf will try to eat the pigs.” Ask your child to make predictions and explain their thinking too. 
  2. Activate background knowledge. Bring what kids already know about a topic to the surface before reading.  This helps children comprehend what they read and connect it to what they already know.  For example, ask, “What do you know about pigs?  What do you know about wolves?” 
  3. Ask questions. As you read, stop and ask questions along the way.  
    • What do you think will happen next? Why? 
    • How do you think the character feels? Why? 
    • Why do you think that happened? 
    • Tell me what you see in this illustration. 
  4. Make connections. Make connections between the content in the story and what the child already knows or has experienced or other books.  This supports reading comprehension and new learning.  Ask: 
    • What does this remind you of? 
    • Remember when we...? 
    • What character does she remind you of? 
    • What do you already know about...? 
  5. Explain new words. Give simple explanations for new vocabulary words as they pop up.  For example, “Humongous is another word for really big!” 
  6. Retell the story. When you finish a story, find playful ways to have your child retell the story.  They can act it out, draw a picture about what happened, or summarize it for a plush animal or real pet. 
  7. Repeat.  Rereading a book multiple times builds comprehension and helps kids understand that text is constant.  If your child is familiar with the story, have them jump in with the words. 

Words to Use: 

  • Author: Person who wrote the book. 
  • Illustrator: Person who drew the pictures in a book. 
  • Cover: The front of the book. 
  • Prediction: What you think is going to happen. 
  • Connection: The way things are related to each other. 

Change It Up:  

  • Ask your child to come up with a different ending to the story. 
  • Before they’re able to actually read, ask your child to “read” you a story by talking you through the pictures. 
  • Staple some paper together and create your own books about favorite family experiences.  Have your child dictate the words. 

Learning Connections:  

  • Critical Thinking 
  • Curiosity 
  • Imagination 
  • Social & Emotional Development 
  • Language Development 
  • Literacy 
  • Cultural Understanding 

Curriculum Connections: 

  • English Language Arts: RL.K.1, RL.K.2, RL.K.3, RL.K.9, RL.1.1, RL.1.2, RL.1.3, RL.1.9 

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