Parents have an incredibly important role in helping children to develop their reading skills. Initially, the focus will be on decoding – actually reading what is on the page. At this stage, little and often is the key to success, aiming to foster a love of reading for enjoyment within the child. Parents also play a key role in the development of comprehension skills – the understanding and appreciation of what is being read. We ask that you read with your child, for about ten minutes every night, and then discuss what the book is about.
You can help your child by:
Reading regularly with your child at home.
Supporting your child to decode or blend sounds in unfamiliar words.
Keeping reading sessions short and light-hearted.
Reading a book aloud at the same time as your child, modelling expression and fluency.
Sharing books, reading sections each, especially if your child wants to tackle a more difficult text.
Going over any words that your child found difficult.
Giving your child lots of praise!
Discussing what has been read. You may find the questions in this leaflet useful.
Reading Aloud to Your Child
Research has shown that reading aloud to children of all ages helps them to develop their writing skills. This is because it helps pupils to develop their knowledge of language and story structure. It also provides them with a greater range of ideas which they can use in their own writing, and gives them access to texts that may be too complex for them to read alone. Continue to enjoy the pleasure of sharing stories at bedtime (or at any other time!), even after their child has become an independent reader.
Questions about characters in the story
What does …… look like? How do you know this?
What sort of things does …… get up to?
Why do you think that …… behaves like that?
What have you learned about ……?
Would you like to have …… as a friend? Why/why not?
How did …… feel at the beginning/middle/end of the story? Can you explain why?
Do you feel that you are in any way similar to ……? In what way?
Why do you think …… said “…….”?
Are any of the characters like people you know, or characters from other stories you’ve read?
Have you read any similar stories before?
Questions about plot and settings
Where does the story take place?
Is it a happy, scary, silly (etc) story?
What happens at the beginning / …middle / …end of the story?
Re-tell the main events of the story in your own words.
Can you make up a different ending?
Draw a picture of the setting, using words from the story to help you.
Does what you have read in your book today make you want to carry on reading?
What do you think may happen next?
What part of the story do you think is the funniest/saddest/most interesting?
How do you think the story will end?
Why do you think the book is called ….?
Did anything in the book make you think about something that once happened to you?
Do you think that the pictures help you to understand the book better?
Do the pictures make the book more enjoyable? How?
What questions would you like to ask the author?
Would you recommend this book to other children?
What sort of children do you think would like it?
What have you learnt from the book today?
Choose a picture. Can you describe it?
Why are pictures / diagrams included in your book?
Here it says (point to the contents page) …… is on page … What do you think that page will be about?
How would you use the index to find something out?
Could you suggest any ways in which your book could be improved?
What is the poem about?
Does the poem rhyme? If so, can you find some rhyming words?
Do you like this poem? Why / why not?
Does it remind you of any other poems or songs that you know? If so, why?
How did this poem make you feel? Happy, sad, calm, angry?
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