Saturday, October 22, 2011

Growing Critical Readers

I like to ask my kids questions while we're reading books.  At many times they may be thinking, "Good gracious, woman, just read the book."  After hearing the questions enough, however, I hope that my kids will internalize the questioning process as part of being a critical reader.  For better or worse, here are some questions I like to ask while reading, especially when sitting down to read a book we have never seen before.  For the sake of discussion, here's a book we read for the first time last week and we really liked it!

Before Reading the Book:
  • Let's look at the picture on the cover.  What do you see?  What do the pictures make you think this book is about?
  • Can you predict who some of the characters might be?
  • (After discussing the pictures on the cover...) The title of this book is "The Very Best Pumpkin."  What does the title make you think the book is about?
  • What do you predict will happen in this book?
  • Are you curious about what will happen in this book?  What are you curious about?

While Reading the Book:
  • Hey...I remember seeing that red shoe you remember where we saw that?  That's right;  on the cover!
  • Peter sure seems to love the pumpkin he is growing.  Can you predict what he is going to do with it? 
  • I see something on this page that rhymes with "house."  Can you find it?  And the ever popular nonsense words...can you find something that rhymes with "mumpkin?"
  • How many pumpkins are in the picture?  Let's count.
  • Wow!  Peter just gave his pumpkin to his friend.  Do you think he made a good decision?  Would you have done anything different with the pumpkin if it had been yours?

After Reading the Book:
  • What happened in the book?  What was the plot?
  • Was our prediction about what would happen in the book correct?
  • Who were the characters in the book?
  • We predicted that the mouse on the cover would be a character in the book.  Were we right?
  • Where did the story take place?  What season was it?  What time of the day?  We just talked about the SETTING of the story.
  • Do you think that "The Very Best Pumpkin" was a good title for this book?  Would you have given this book a different title?  To this question, Eli told me he would have named the book "The Very Best Apple."  Hmmmm.  We were then able to talk about how for the book to have that title, the setting would have to change to an apple orchard instead of a pumpkin patch.
  • Did you like the book?  What did you like or not like about it?
And that is why it takes me twelve years to read a book to my children.  We definitely don't do this all the time, but reading a new book from the library is a great chance to practice being a critical reader. 

Have fun reading!

1 comment:

  1. The teacher in me says, "Way to go!"