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Ready to Read:  Narrative Skills
Here's a short video about narrative skills, including suggestions on how to share this important early literacy skill with children.  To view, click the PLAY button on the left (arrow pointing right).

Narrative Skills

Narrative skills represent an ability to describe things and events, tell stories, and describe sequences of actions.  Because spoken and written language are correlated, oral skills create a readiness to read.  Research consistently shows that children that can speak well and use a richer vocabulary have higher reading scores.

Many families use mealtime to share narrative skills - recounting what each family member has done during the day is an excellent way to build narrative skills.  Studies of early readers show they come from homes where oral language is used in a variety of ways.  Being able to tell or retell a story helps children understand what they read.

To help develop narrative skills:

bulletListen to your child carefully when he or she talks or tells stories.
bulletTell stories to your child – family stories, stories about when your child was born or adopted, and stories about other relatives are fun starters.
bulletShare books together and talk about the pictures.
bulletRead wordless stories together and let your child tell the story.
bulletTell childhood classics together. The Three Little Pigs and The Three Billy Goats Gruff are fun for the whole family to participate in or act out.
bulletAdd to what your child says. If your child says, “big truck” you can say, “Yes, a big red fire truck.”
bulletTell stories with puppets or dolls. Encourage your child to pretend and write down some of the stories she tells you.
bulletHelp your child relate what is happening in the story to her own experience, for example, “What happened when we went swimming?”
bulletAsk open-ended questions like, “What do you think is happening in this picture?” and “What was your favorite part of the story?”
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