Getting ready for reading

Parents' Corner

October 18, 1998|By Jerdine Nolen

Editor's note: In her bi-weekly column, Jerdine Nolen today provides suggestions on creating the right atmosphere for the reading experience.

* Allow time for your children to settle into the story.

* Encourage your children to preview the book, looking at the cover and the pictures. Give them time to talk about what they see and ask them to make predictions about what will happen. When you are reading informational books, ask them to describe some of the pictures and share what they want to learn.

* Adjust the pace to fit your story - slow down for the parts full of suspense, etc.

* Pause to discuss the characters, events and/or information.

When reading a story, ask:

Would you want that character for a friend? Why? Why not?

What might the character have done differently?

What would have happened if ...?

When reading informational text, ask:

What did you learn about ...?

What else would you like to know?

Reread favorite parts.

* Encourage your child to retell the story; share what they learned from informational text.

* Encourage your children to write/tell a sequel to the story.

* Create a "character journal." Have your child write notes to the different characters in the books you read.

* Keep a reading log. Record book titles, your children's reactions, and ideas related to the books.

* Spread the word. Tell your acquaintances, friends and family members what you do with your children to support literacy in your home while creating good and lasting memories with books. Have fun!

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Pub Date: 10/18/98

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