Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Asking Questions While Reading

I  feel the need to post some more detailed posts about how I read with Jacob. I have had some great questions about asking questions and where we take a story after. 
Today we read, Rooster's Off to See the World, by Eric Carle. (One of our great children's authors) This is a terrific beginning counting book in addition to just being a fun book to read for toddlers. In the story, there is one rooster, 2 cats, 3 frogs, 4 turtles, and 5 fish. This is perfect for us because Jake is just counting 1-3 (starting this week). This works for him because I want to work with him just above his current mastery level. If he has mastered 1-3 I would not want to just focus on 1-3 but instead take him to the next level to continue growth.
At this level (~2 year old) you do not want to ask too many questions while reading. Too many questions will confuse the child's comprehension and just make them lose interest.

*First set of pages- "The rooster is lonely, he wants friends. Do you like to have friends?"
Questions should relate directly to the child and/or the story. My relating the story to Jake will help him make connections which in turn aids in comprehension. Although open ended questions are the best, it is ok to ask yes or no questions to 'grab' the reader and to help them get-into the story.

*Next- "How many cats are there? Can you purr like a cat? Let me hear you."

*Then-"How many frogs do you see? The frogs jumped along, show me how they jumped."
Questions do not always have to be answered with words. By having him jump like the frogs he is staying active and connecting to the story. 

*After that- "How many turtles are there? The turtles thought it would be fun to be with the others, how can they have fun?"
This question is open ended and allows room for many possible answers. 

You can see the idea and the line of questioning that can happen with a very simple book and a very young child that has a limited vocabulary. We did continue reading the story and I asked questions although not on every page. 
After reading I pulled out the Zoo Coloring Book I made for this month's coloring pages. I do not always do an activity after reading books but during our Structured Play time I do try to connect an activity to one of the stories. I pick up books biweekly at the library and we read and re-read those books for two weeks. 

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