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