How to Read and Talk about a Story with My Child
by Panyaden School Head Teacher, Michel Thibeault
Rule #1: Don’t force a child to read:
- Forcing your child to read may be a short-term gain but could create long-term damage.
- Read to him if he’s not ready to read to you!
Rule #2: Make it personal and relevant!
- Questions should mostly be about the relationship between the reader and the story. It is best to avoid factual questions to which you already know the answers such as: “What’s the name of the dog?” or “What is Pau doing?” etc.
- It’s alright to scan the entire book and the illustrations before beginning.
- Don’t turn the listening time into an interrogation session. Examples of relevant questions:
♦ “Have you read this book before?”
♦ “Can you summarize the story for me before you read it again?”
♦ “What do you think she will do next?”
♦ “Do you know someone who has this kind of dog?”
♦ “Did his dog ever do sometimes similar to Paul’s dog?”
♦ “Did you like that story?”
♦ “What was your favourite part? Why?”
♦ “If you were Peter, would you have done the same thing?”
♦ “Why do you think she did that?”
Rule #3: Put your heart into it!
- Create a warm and caring atmosphere around reading time.
- Allow your child to choose the book or at least fully agree with your suggestion of book.
- Change voice for every character.
- Add sound effects!
- Laugh when it’s funny. Be sad when it is.
- Enjoy this unique time with your child!
Rule #4: Be creative!
- Here are some suggestions:
|1.||Make a picture of the 2-3 characters in the story. Cut them out, list the traits on the back, children can then play a character guessing game.|
|2.||Make a timeline of events either in pictorial or in written form.|
|3.||Make a timeline of events either in pictorial or in written form.|
|4.||Make a trivia game about the story.|
|5.||Use puppets to help you re-tell the story.|
|6.||Make a comic strip of the story.|
|7.||Use a Venn diagram or other graphics to compare two characters in the story.|
|8.||Write or state clues about your story to see if others can guess which story you read.|
|9.||Write part 2 or a sequel to the story.|
|10.||If you could be in this story, decide which person you would be and say why.|
|11.||Make a list of everything in the story that could be fact or fantasy.|
|12.||Prepare a commercial or advertisement to sell this book to somebody who hasn’t yet read it.|
|13.||Create a poster to spark interest in others to read the book.|
|14.||Write 5 questions that somebody who has read the book should be able to answer.|
|15.||Design a new cover for this book.|
|16.||Make a list of what makes a good book.|
|17.||If you had to buy something for each of the characters, what would they be and why?|
|18.||Is there a problem in the story? How was it solved? How could it be solved in another way?|
|19.||Write to the author telling him your opinion about the book and why.|
|20.||Dress up as the main character and tell the story from his point of view.|
|21.||Draw the map of the main places mentioned in the story.|