Reading To Your Child

Courtesy of Pat Peck Honda, Gulfport, MS.

If you are eager to help your child with reading at home, here are a few resources to support your efforts. Reading to your child is an important task that will greatly contribute to his/her academic success. And it should be fun for you both!

Strategies / Activities:

Here are a few strategies to try when you read (and even better, these support the Mississippi Dept. of Education’s English/Language Arts Standards)

Kindergarten Strategies / Activities – 

  • ask questions about key details of story and have your child “be the teacher” and ask YOU questions about the story
  • encourage your children to retell the story (flip through the book page by page if needed to help “guide” their re-tell)
  • work with your child to identify characters, places, important things, or major events in the story
  • ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text
  • describe the relationship between illustrations and the story (tell what is happening based on the pictures)
  • compare and contrast characters and their adventures/experiences in familiar stories
  • while reading to your child, have them follow words in story as you read left to right, top to bottom (you can use your finger to point for practice)
  • work with your child to help them recognize all upper and lowercase letters in the alphabet (you can even play a matching game with the upper and lower case letters written on cards)
  • help your child recognize and produce rhyming words (if there’s a ring in the story, see if they can come up with other words that rhyme with ring – thing, sing, wing)
  • isolate initial, medial, final sounds in CVC words – like C – A – T, make each sound and then blend them together. Try it with dog, hop, pig. See if there are any CVC words in the story you read!
  • work with words by adding or substituting a sound in words to make new words (for example, cat – change the “c” to “b” and you now have bat. Change the “b” to “s” and you now have sat.)
  • practice high frequency sight words – the, she, my, is, are, do, does; you can write these on flashcards or have students “hunt and seek” for these words in the story and say them
  • use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.
  • encourage your child to participate in collaborative conversations – back and forth, by answering and asking questions.
  • describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
  • form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ – try doing so with words from the story (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
  • understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
  • identify real-life connections between words from a story and their use (e.g., note places at home that are cozy; safety tips around the house).

First Grade Strategies / Activities –

  • Ask questions about key details of story and have your child “be the teacher” and ask YOU questions about the story.
  • Encourage your children to retell the story (flip through the book page by page if needed to help “guide” their re-tell).
  • Describe characters, settings, major events in a story.
  • Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
  • Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
  • Ask and answer questions to determine or clarify the meaning of words/phrases in a text.
  • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words – example “sheep” (long e) and “egg” (short e).
  • Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables. Here’s a helpful resource for supporting your child with this skill!
  • Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.
  • Participate in collaborative discussions – back and forth
  • Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges
  • Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
  • Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.
  • Identify frequently occurring root words (e.g., look) and their inflectional forms (e.g., looks, looked, looking).
  • understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
  • identify real-life connections between words from a story and their use (e.g., note places at home that are cozy; safety tips around the house).

Web Resources:

Home Reading Helper Home