Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ready Readers - Quizative Questions

WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? WHY? HOW?  These words are my daughter's most frequently utilized words.  Maybe I should rephrase that, these are the words that my daughter uses to drive her parents crazy on a DAILY basis!  While, yes, her constant questions easily drive me up the wall, it is hard to get upset about it, as I know that her little mind is always clicking and ticking. 

Any  parent of a child over the age of 2, can use this developmental stage to begin to help their child become more involved in literature. The word here is MODEL.  SHOW your children HOW to ask questions about a text that you are reading.   In addition to this list of question words, start working on concepts of story grammar and vocabulary.   Talk to your children about who the CHARACTERS are in the story. USE the work CHARACTERS.  Talk about SETTING, PLOT and even what happens in the BEGINNING, MIDDLE, END and CONCLUSION of the story. 

You may be asking, WHY is it SO important that I use the terms, character, setting, plot, beginning, middle, end and conclusion?  Simple, these are appropriate terms for the parts of a fictional story. 

Before you start a book, take some time to look at all the pictures on each page and discuss what you see happening in the story (this is a classic techinuque used be primary teachers who are teaching reading, called a picture walk.)
  • Have your child PREDICT, what will happen in the story.
  • Request them to ask QUESTIONS, "like mommy does" about the story, using the question words.  You can offer a word to get them started.  "Use where to ask me a question about this page."
  • If your child has been practicing letter names or sounds.  Use the pictures to help them identify letters, sounds or even words.  Your child finds a "cat" in the picture.  You can say:
    • "cat stats with the letter c, can you find a word on this page that starts with the letter c?"
    • or, "cat starts with the sound /c/ can you find the word that starts with the /c/ sound?"
    • or, "can you find the word that probably says cat?"
  • As you are reading continue to have your child ask questions, as though the parent is the kid or student.
  • Also ask your child if they need help clarifying words that they do not understand.  Again, you can roll play this and pretend to switch roles.  You can be silly and have fun, you can turn to your kid and say, "Mommy, what does the word excited mean?  Can you please clarify that word for me?"
Have fun reading with your child and use your sense of silliness and sense of humor!  : )

Please share your reading ideas with us!  ALSO if you want more ideas or have any questions about these techniques please let me know and I will clarify information here and/or in future blogs! 

I love that I can use this blog to continue to help education children by educating their parents, too!  : )


  1. As an English teacher (and mom of boy just reading his first words) this is so important. Great post, Kali!

  2. Thanks Noel! I appreciate your feedback! I believe that understanding and interacting with literature is the first step to creating a life-long learner and passionate reader. Being inquisitive and wondering about our world makes young children so much to parent!