Listen to This: Read Aloud
What You Need To Know
First graders are amazing listeners. Although they’re only just getting to grips with reading and writing, most of first graders’ new information comes from listening. Now is a great time for parents to move away from shorter stories and read aloud chapter-based books such as Stuart Little.
How You Can Help
- Read aloud more difficult books. First graders start with quite simple stories, so if you want to introduce books with more challenging words, read them aloud to your child. Judge your child’s developmental level carefully, as some books contain ideas which can be hard to understand. Picture books, such as Baseball Saved Us, can be a good place to start, or a chapter-based book, such as My Father’s Dragon.
- Talk about the story. Children will develop an understanding of plot, narrative technique, chronology, and storytelling through discussing a book’s contents. You could even start with the front cover – ask your child what they think the book is about. Use questions to guide their thinking, ask what they expect might happen next, or ‘wonder aloud’ to encourage them to consider. “I wonder why the witch left the apple on the table.” At the end of the story, ask your child what their favorite part was.
- Read different types of books. Children can benefit from varied styles of story, learning all kinds of words, and ways of introducing details. Fantasy, fiction, poetry, and biography can all capture a child’s imagination. Find out which one your child likes best.
- Compare books with films. Many great books have been made into movies. After you’ve read a book you both liked, watch the film. Talk about how the stories are told in different ways. Which is more effective, and why? Did the film match the way your child imagined the story?
For more information on listening milestones in First Grade, please see the full article:
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