Reading strategies and picture books? They’re a perfect combination!
Do you have a plan for teaching reading strategies to your K-2 learners?
Strategies like these:
- making predictions
- making connections
- setting a purpose for reading
- activating prior knowledge
- asking questions
- determining importance
Do we really have to teach all those reading strategies in K-2?
Yes and no.
We won’t have time to teach ALL these strategies in detail over a single school year (nor should we). But we can address most of them through picture books.
So what’s the point?
Why are we teaching reading strategies to readers so young?
The point is to help them make sense of what they read. Now, let me be clear – the point is NOT to make sure they learn every single detail about a particular book. The point is NOT so they can tell you the story forward and backward.
The point, instead, is to equip them with strategies to help them understand the books they read tomorrow and the day after that. With consistent modeling and guided practice, our students will make these strategies their own.
Really? Kids can learn advanced reading strategies through a basic picture book?
You bet. Especially when you find the best of children’s literature and combine it with a magical technique called the “think aloud.”
The magic of the “think aloud”
A think aloud is kind of like eavesdropping on someone’s thinking. It’s when you verbalize your thought processes as you read aloud to your students. Here are some things you can do as you think aloud:
- Share thoughts, reactions, and confusions that pop into your head while you’re reading.
- Show your students how you connect what you’re reading to events in your own life.
- Share the questions you have as you read even if you know they won’t be answered in the text.
- Share how you make inferences about the meanings of new words and new concepts.
- Show your students how you re-read when something doesn’t make sense.
Of course, read aloud isn’t the only time to teach reading strategies with picture books. You can also do it during the teaching point of your guided reading lesson. And you can support students as they use the strategies on their own during independent reading time.
A collaborative blog series! I’ve teamed up with my colleague, Becky Spence, of This Reading Mama. Over the next ten weeks, we’ll bring you blog posts that show you exactly how to use picture books to build strong readers.
Update: Here they are!
Setting a purpose for readingActivating prior knowledgeMaking connectionsMaking predictionsMaking inferencesVisualizingAsking questionsDetermining importanceSummarizingSynthesizing
Looking forward to this – as a kindergarten teacher, I feel like my most important goal as their beginning reading teacher is to have them develop the HABIT of thinking as we/they read. If we can get this solid, by the time they are actually reading on their own, comprehending will be what they DO, not what they have to spend extra time thinking about. I love using my picture books for this – besides working on skills, it just helps them learn how amazing books are! Catch them young, right?!
Yes, I agree 100%!! It sounds like you know exactly what you’re doing, Lynn!
Looks great! How do I sign up?
These will simply be blog posts, so there’s no need to sign up. 🙂
Thank you. l am waiting eagerly to acquire those skills.
We’re excited to share them!
How do I sign up and when does it take place?
These are simply blog posts, so you just need to come back to the blog each week to see them. 🙂
I am so excited to go through this with you! I can’t wait to put this into action.
We’re excited to get started!
I see that you have class starting 4/4. Is that online video to be downloaded or ?
These will simply be blog posts like the one above. 🙂
Looking forward to it. Trade picture books are so much more engaging than the read-alouds included in our district adoption, with richer and more natural language.
So true! We look forward to sharing some excellent books .:)