Skills to Practice this Month
- Talk to your child about the stories that you read together and ask your child to tell the stories back to you.
- Being able to tell or retell a story helps children understand what they read. Make sure that your child can tell about an experience. Ask your child to tell you about something that happened. Let him tell you about a picture he drew. Ask your child to tell you stories and retell familiar stories. Talk about what happened first, next, last.
Read a book together that your child already knows. Switch roles: you be the listener and let your child tell you the story as she “reads” the book. Retelling stories and making up stories to go along with pictures is an important pre-reading skill.
When sharing books with your child, ask open-ended “what” questions. Point to a picture and say, “What’s that?” or “What is happening here?” Ask your child questions about what might happen next in the story.
When you share a book or story, help your child relate what is happening in the story to her own experiences. For example, if you were reading a book about animals that went on a picnic, ask, “Do you remember when we went on a picnic? What happened when it started to rain?”
Using puppets, made from paper bags or socks, stuffed animals, or dolls act out the stories that you read with your child.
Another way to improve your child’s narrative skills is to create paper dolls and use them to act out a story you have read together. Let your child decorate a doll for each character of the story and take turns being the different parts. You can also attach Velcro pieces on the back of the dolls to create flannel board pieces. These can be used with a piece of cardboard covered in flannel fabric to create a storyboard. Pieces can be used over and over again for characters in different stories.