Saturday, July 12, 2014

A GREAT Recipe for Storytelling or Reading to Your Child

It's been a long summer day. You're energy is definitely waning, but your young one is begging for a bedtime tale. "Read me a story, Momma---ple-e-ease!" You start to think that it might be alright, perhaps even enjoyable, to sit on the edge of your child's bed and read her a favorite story---or even a new one. You give in and gently take a book from the bookshelf nearby. You begin to read the words with expression and genuine interest. Your child takes it all in, unaware that she is learning to associate books and reading with gentleness, comfort and affection.

Reading and storytelling with your son or daughter are priceless activities in the development of your child. Mothers and fathers (and grandparents, too!) are the best candidates for these activities, as they can contribute much in the way of positive experiences for both parent and child. In fact, as you read to your child, you will be helping to create some wonderful memories your young one will not likely forget.

How does one read or tell a story to a child? Is there a BEST way to read to your son or daughter? It is always a good idea for parents to put their own personal touches to stories they read or tell their children, but a few tips might be helpful to many parents who are "newbies." We've gathered some simple tips to assist parents when reading or telling stories to their children, and we've put them in a simple, reference-list format.

Tips for Reading (or Telling Stories) to Your Child

1. If reading a book, talk briefly about the cover and title of the book with your child. If you are telling a story, give a brief "teaser" about the story that will unfold.

2. Begin to read or tell the story with expression in your voice that is appropriate for the story's mood.

3. Involve your child in the story, asking short, simple questions about the selection at important points. (Think---Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?)

4. When the book or story ends (and your child is still awake!), don't be afraid to talk for a few moments about the following Story Elements:

a. The characters---both main & supporting characters in the story or book
b. The setting---the where & when of the story
c. The problem---of the main character(s)
d. The plot---the beginning, middle & end of the story
e. If the conclusion demonstrates an important idea or helps to teach a lesson, briefly talk about this in a way that is age-appropriate for your child.
f. If time permits, consider asking your child about possible "alternate" endings for the story or book. This will encourage creative thinking and problem solving.

So, the next time your son or daughter asks you to read a book or tell a story at bedtime---or anytime, you'll certainly be ready! You'll also be helping to lay the all-important groundwork for your child to learn and love to read---for a lifetime.

Happy Reading and Storytelling---with your child!

Tell a Better Story---Storytelling Made Simple by Melissa Taylor of Imagination Soup

How to Read Aloud to a Child Edited by Kyle G., KnowItSome, Flickety, Lozoloz & 5 others

For more information on customizable reading tools for better focus & attention, please visit: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at

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