first grade level book (or a story from your child's reading textbook)
What You Do:
Using the marker, grab the beach ball and ask your child to write one of the following questions in each of the colored sections of the ball: "Where?" "Who?" "Beginning?" "Middle?" "End?" and “Favorite part?"
Once the ball is marked up, take it outside for a game of catch. In the game of Story Ball, each time you toss your child the ball, he must answer the question written on the color which lands under his right hand. Where did the story take place? Who were the main characters? What happened in the beginning, in the middle, in the end? What was his favorite part? Toss the ball back and forth—the quicker, the better, since that makes answering in time more fun and silly. If your child can’t recall an event from the story give him some clues.
Play continues until all the questions have been answered. If you’d like to extend the activity, ask your child to write down what he’s said aloud on paper, then illustrate it. This is another great way to help him recall the events of a story and understand what he’s read.