Wednesday, July 8, 2015

We've Got Skills...Narrative Skills!

In order for kids to be able to read, acquiring certain pre-reading skills is essential. Possessing strong narrative skills--the ability to describe things, put events in order, and retell stories--is important for reading success. Helping your child develop narrative skills is something that you can do early on, even when your little one is a baby. Here are some easy ways to help develop these skills at different ages:

Babies: When your baby is babbling and cooing, talk to him and add more words to it. It’s okay that you don’t know exactly what he’s saying!

Toddlers: As you go through your day, narrate for your child. Hearing you talk in detail about what you’re doing will help her understand how to order events. For example: “Let’s brush your teeth. First we’ll get your toothbrush. Then, we’ll need to find the toothpaste and unscrew the cap. After that, we’ll squeeze a little onto your brush. Now we’re ready to clean your teeth!”

Preschoolers: Encourage your child to retell stories after you read them. Not only does doing this help to strengthen his narrative skills, but it also gives an indication of his comprehension level. If he’s having trouble, you can prompt him: “How did the story start? Then what? What happened next? How did it end?”

By assisting your child in developing narrative skills, you’re not only helping her get ready to read, but you’re also making it easier for her to express herself.

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