Friday, April 13, 2012

The Story Reader in You

As you read your pre-school children their nightly bedtime books, have you ever wondered "How can I change this basic word-for-word reading of my child's favorite storybook into something new?

Every parent-child storytime begins with getting your child curious about the story. Let your child enjoy exploring the illustrations before you begin and ask him\her questions about what he may know about the story already or about the kinds of characters in the book.

Take your time as you begin to read the text, and sometimes, alternate letting your child tell you a part of the story in his/her own words. Use lots of expression in your voice to show the emotions of the characters. Pause and ask your child if they have ever felt like the character feels.

Add dialogue and create voices or sounds for the characters if there are none in the text. Move your fingers over the page pointing out or mimicing the action in the pictures, or touch exciting words in the text. Change the pace of your reading.

Start the story slowly, build up a little more speed as the story reaches its most exciting part, and then slow your reading again as the story comes to an end. Be natural, and, most of all, be interested in the story yourself, look for every twist and turn, laugh with your child at the outcomes.  No matter how many times you've both heard this story before, this time it will be very special.

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