Following on from 7 Things to Notice on the Cover, here are nine things to notice inside a book when reading with children.
1. As you read a new book, pause to make observations together or ask questions about what is happening in the story.
2. In picture books, illustrations are as important as words. Notice together interesting details or clues as to what is happening in the story.
3. For older children, ask what they think will happen next or what they would do if they were in a similar situation.
4. At the appropriate moment, pause as an invitation for your child to join you in reading a rhyming word or familiar phrase.
5. Ask your child to point to where the words are on a page (as separate to the illustrations). Talk about the words being the part of the book which you read.
6. Point to the words as you read them. This will show your child where you start reading, that you read English from left to right and that there is one word represented on the page for each word that you say.
7. When re-reading familiar books, point out (or ask your child to point out) any letters which are significant to them, for example, the first letter of their name.
8. For older children, notice punctuation marks, such as full stops, question marks and exclamation marks.
9. Explore the end pages of the book. SquiggleMum posted about the purpose and possibilities of end pages here.
Whilst I would never advocate doing any or all of these things all of the time, these strategies help to develop a child’s awareness of print and auditory and visual memory skills which are important to their future development as independent readers.
- Quality Picture Books are Worth Their Weight in Gold
- Words in the World
- Do Good Stories Ever Go Out of Fashion?
- The Universe is Made of Stories