Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Narrate Your Day!

In order to understand what they read, it’s critical for children to possess narrative skills, the ability to retell stories. Developing these narrative skills is something that can start at a very young age, even before children learn to talk! Besides reading to your child, here are a few ideas of ways you can help your little one develop strong narrative skills:

-Narrate your day—talk to your child about what you’re doing as you’re doing it. If your child is old enough to talk, encourage him to do the same.

-Talk to your baby when she babbles or coos and add some more words to it. It’s okay that you don’t know exactly what she’s saying!

-Give your child extra time to answer questions. Hearing a question and formulating a response involves at least three different parts of the brain. Plus, kids tend to be slower, since they haven’t had as much practice answering questions as we have!

-Use household items as props for your child to retell a story.

-Encourage your child to draw pictures and then tell you about what is in the picture.

-Tell your child stories about when you were a kid.

-Practice dialogic reading by prompting your child with questions and engaging him in discussions while reading.

-Have your child retell a favorite story or one you’ve recently read together.

-Talk about what is happening in the pictures when you’re reading with your child.

-Ask your child to predict what might come next in a story.

-Summarize stories after you’ve finished reading them.

Giving your child these powerful skills early on will dramatically impact her future reading success!

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