Tips From Reading.org
Tips for Parents, Primary Caregivers, and Educators
Initial book activities
One of the easiest ways to begin telling the story of a book is through the use of illustrations.
Most books for young children are illustrated in great detail, and noting important details
related to the characters, plot, and setting will provide a wholesome first literacy activity.
Set aside a regular time and place for books so that reading books becomes as natural as eating and sleeping.
Browse through books to help the child become familiar with books and how they are handled.
Read the story while the child points to the pictures. Adult and child can repeat interesting sounds, repetitive word patterns, and distinctive word features to the delight of both.
Have the child tell the story using the illustrations, while the adult reinforces the telling.
The two can predict outcomes, discuss how the characters feel, and relate the events to their own experiences.
Read the book to the child and enjoy it together. Retell the story together and talk about the characters, setting, plot, and life experiences.
Compare the similarities and differences of children's books available as video productions.
Have children make responses to the books read through art reproductions such as drawings, or by using clay, papier-mâché, dioramas, or fingerpaints.
Make regular trips to the library and attend storytelling sessions. Visit bookstores together to begin a personal library for a child.
Beginning reading-level activities
Children at this level should be encouraged to browse through books and pretend to read the story, an initial step toward becoming an independent reader. Children may tell the story to themselves or attempt to read frequently highlighted words.
Read the story as the child points to the pictures on each page.
Let the child pretend to read the story as the adult points to the pictures.
Read alternate pages, ask each other questions, and discuss the story. The adult models what he or she thinks of when reading the page so the child gets a variety of perspectives on the ways words have different meanings.
Use computer programs to expand a child's interest in specific topics and to provide valuable information for later curriculum study.
Compare and contrast video adaptations of children's books for this and more advanced literacy levels.
Primary-grade book activities
Continue to spend time reading with the child; set aside a specific time and place.
Be familiar with Children's Choices books and other high-quality children's literature.
Become aware of the interests of your children and books that extend life experiences so they know what happens in the world around them.
Encourage children to share books read in school with parents and caregivers at home. Parents and caregivers should encourage children to share books they've read at home with their teachers and schoolmates.
Continue to extend the information and knowledge bases through computer programs and other technology that capitalize on topics initiated through reading.
Independent reader activities
Challenge readers to compare and contrast books.
Encourage children to develop an interest in a variety of genres such as biography, historical fiction, and poetry.
Encourage children to read books related to beginning career and vocational choices.
Seek a balance between school book activities; home and school literature activities; and familiarity with newspapers, magazines, and other text media that address contemporary social, cultural, and civic issues.
Develop the desire to be a lifelong reader
Have students bring what is read to bear on what is viewed on film, television, and computer and other media technologies.
View technology in the reflection of the literature.
Keep in mind that the most memorable conversations are often filled with anecdotes from literature.
Relate what has been read to the solution of problems. By internalizing what has been read, we use knowledge and wisdom to solve personal problems, to make significant decisions related to career choices, to find solutions to community and social problems, and to develop healthy attitudes toward a positive world environment.