Ready Set Go to Kindergarten

Active Reading Strategies

Nicolle Bellmore Pierse - Thursday, January 14, 2021

You probably read picture books to your child fairly often. We know that reading aloud to kids can help them learn to read eventually, but what else can we do to help support that learning? Let's talk about some strategies that you can use with any book.


  1. Predicting the Story - before you read a new story to your child, take a couple of minutes and flip through each page to look carefully at the pictures. Ask your child, "What do you think is happening on this page?" After you read the story, talk with your child about if any of their predictions were right on.
  2. Vocalizing Enjoyment - there's probably one or two books that your child asks you to read over and over again. That's great! Repetition is an important part of learning to read. You can also use these books as an opportunity to teach your child how to be aware of their own emotions. Ask your child why they like the story so much. Try to nudge them towards specific aspects, such as "the pictures are really cool" or "I love how the main character does this thing."
  3. Comprehension Questions - a lot of picture books have morals that are useful for a child to learn. To make sure that your child understands the ideas behind the story, try asking comprehension questions. These types of questions often start with "why" or "how" and are specifically related to details of the story.
  4. Retelling the Story - another great activity for books that you read with your child again and again. You can try to have your child tell you what the story was about, in their own words, but you can also use more specific prompts if you want to. For example, you could ask your child to tell you the steps that the characters took to solve the problem of the story or ask how did the story end.
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