You may be wondering how you can support early literacy with PreK students, or even younger! I’ve written before about many little things you can do to support early literacy, but today I want to share with you some of the ways I’ve asked natural questions to help engage young children, rather than quiz them as we read.
There are a few different kinds of questions you can take the time to ask as you read.
Ask Questions With Answers You Can Point to:
Ask children to find things on the page like “Oh look! I see a ____! Do you see it?” You can also open this up to children to be more child guided by asking “What do you notice on this page?” This kind of questioning makes reading more interactive for children and also helps them to begin to learn that you can find information and evidence in books. Depending on the questions you’re asking, you can also help to increase vocabulary and concept awareness (shapes, numbers, colors etc).
Ask questions that have no wrong answer:
Low pressure questions help children to enjoy the book, they can turn to a page to show you (the prerequisite for finding text evidence that will be so important in years to come), and they can’t be wrong. A favorite is a favorite!
“Which page did you like best? ”
“Which part was your favorite?”
Ask Story Element Questions
Avoid quizzing the children, but instead encourage discussion as you read.
Ask children questions like these naturally:
Characters: “Who is here?” or “Who is on this page?” or “How does _____ feel?”
Setting: “Where are they?” “Can you see the house?” “Where are they going?”
Problem: “Uh oh! What happened?”
Solution: “Oh wow! What happened now?”
When I’m trying to teach a more formal lesson, I like to use question cards with common visuals and question prompts. You can find more about my favorite way to do and to build independence with early readers here: