Beginning Reading Strategies

Even Before Kids Can Read the Text, They Can Learn:
  • Title, Author and Illustrator- Teach the Title is the name of the book. The author is the person who writes the story (the words in the book). The illustrator is the person who draws the pictures in the book to help tell the story. Say the title, author and illustrator each time you start to read a book.
  • Way to Hold a Book- Model and explicitly teach that you open the book starting at the cover page and then turn each page until the book ends.
  • Cover Page- Look at the picture and title and talk about what the book might be about. This gets the child thinking about the story and builds the foundation of comprehension.

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Storytelling the Pictures

The Teacher College Reading and Writing Project, (where I studied, learned and applied to all of my classroom teaching) talks about “taking a picture walk”. This means telling a story by walking through the pictures of a book.

  • Tell children that we can tell a story by looking closely at the pictures in books.
  • Model telling a story by looking at the pictures of a storybook they know well.
  • Connect the pages: “What happens first, (turn page) What happened next?” (use these words to help children to tell the story with you)
Books for Storytelling the Pictures:

1. Books that tell a story

2. Books the child knows well

3. Pictures strongly support the words to help tell the story.

Examples: Good night Gorilla, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I Went Walking

Strategies to Read Text

When readers are stuck on a word:

  • Look at First Letter: When stuck on a word in a sentence, look at the first letter of the word and make that sound with your mouth. “what could that word be if it starts with that letter? What would make sense?
  • Look at the Picture: When a child is reading a sentence and gets stuck on a word, look at the picture and think “what could it be? what would make sense?”