Understanding All The Parts Of A Book

Apr 28

Reading books is a huge part of kindergarten. And most children don’t realize it but you as parents have been teaching them all about books from the first time you read to them. Think about all the concepts you just seem to understand about reading because it just is what it is! Holding the book right-side up, starting at the beginning of the book and reading each page before you turn to the next, looking at all the pictures as you go, knowing where to start reading next when you have finished a page, and so on. Most of these things just seem like a natural thing to do for all of us readers, but somewhere along the line your parents, a teacher, grandparents or someone in your life pointed these things out to you or told you, you were doing them correctly, so you kept doing it the same way the next time you read. Concepts of print in a story or book are very important prereading skills. The best way for you to help your child with knowing their concepts of print before they go to school, is simply by talking to them about the books each night as you read together. Here are some questions you can discuss with your child as you are reading to them each night before bed.

  • Where is the front of the book? Explain to them that the front of the book has the title and a picture about the story.
  • Where is the back of the book? Sometimes the back of the book tells us what the book is about so you can tell if you are interested in reading it.
  • Can you open the book and point to a picture? Point to the words in the story?
  • Open the book to the first page and ask your child, “Where should I start reading?” If they don’t point to the words ask them if you should read this (point to the picture) or this? (point to the words)
  • When you get to the bottom of the page on the left hand side of the book ask them where you should start reading next?
  • When you finish reading at the bottom of the right hand page as them where you should start to read next?
  • If your book has speech bubbles in it- explain to them that that shows us the character is talking.
  • When you get to the end of the story ask them if you can continue reading the story? Why or why not?
  • Point out to your child whether a book is fiction or informational ( we tend to use the term informational text instead of non-fiction when talking about reading these type of stories in school now). Remember fiction is written for entertainment and information text is written to teach you. So if you read a fiction book with your child ask them about their favorite part, what was funny or sad, how did the story make them feel . If you read an informational book ask your child what the author was trying to teach them about.
  • Another fun thing to do is get a book with little to no words (Goodnight Gorilla is a great example). Discuss with your child how the pictures tell a story. You can read and understand the entire book without ever reading a word of text. Looking at pictures and understanding that they are a huge part of a story will be an important skill to have later on when your child is trying to figure out an unknown word.

The more you and your child talk about books, concepts of print and what they have read, the further your child will be ahead when they begin kindergarten. Please don’t think you need to do all of this at one time, pick one of these points a night to discuss with your little one. Then revisit the points as your reading each night until kindergarten starts. Most importantly enjoy reading. If your child loves reading with you, you are more likely to raise a lifelong reader! Enjoy!!!


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