Young people get much more out of books and stories when they talk to adults about them. When you read or listen to your child aloud, you can use the same strategy as teachers in the classroom. Prepare the story for your child. Introduce any new words and concepts before reading with your child. (This obviously requires your reading or skimming the story beforehand.) “We’re going to read a story called ‘The Little Hero of Holland.’ The land is so low in Holland, they have to keep the sea out. Do you know how? ” Providing information on key ideas and characters prevents young children from getting confused during reading. Studies show that children better understand stories with this preparation and better remember their ideas. Talk about the story. After reading this story (or every few paragraphs or pages, if applicable). Ask about a plot, characters or theme a few questions. ” Why walked Peter beside the dike? What if he had pulled his finger out of it? Why do you think Peter said he wasn’t a hero? ” Young children often need to think explicitly about aspects of a story before they really understand what happened. Talking about stories...

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