Previewing Strategies for the Family1. Take a picture walk. Have your child tell you what is happening in the pictures using key words such as in the beginning, next, then, after that, and in the end.
2. Read the title and the first few pages. Look at the pictures. Have your child answer these questions:
  • What can you tell me about the characters?
  • What are three things that you think might happen in the rest of the story? Why do you think that is going to happen?

Think Aloud Strategies for the FamilyWhile reading the story with your child, use these prompts to start discussions about the story:
  • I"m thinking that...
  • You know that made me think about...
  • And I"m now thinking...
  • The illustrations help me to...
  • I have a picture in my mind of...
  • I"m going to read that again. I"m a little confused.
  • In this next part...
  • What was going through my mind was...
  • Let me rethink this...
  • I"m predicting that...
  • I think this character is...because...
  • I"m connecting this to when [such-and-so] happened to me.

When your child becomes a fluent reader and can read books more independently, your child should be using this language while they are reading to you or a sibling!
  • Taken from Reading
Comprehension Questions for the Family
  1. What part of the story was your favorite? Why?
  2. Who is ?
  3. How are the characters _ and different? How are they alike?
  4. What things do the pictures show us that we didn"t learn in the words of the story?
  5. What problem did the character(s) have in the story? How was the problem solved?
  6. Can you retell the story in your own words?
  7. When did _ happen? Or, where did happen?
  8. Who was the main character?
  9. Were there a "bad guy" and a "good guy" in the story? Who were they?
  10. What was the story mostly about?
  11. How would you solve the problem if you were in the story?
  12. What might have happened if the characters had done something different?
  13. What questions would you ask the characters if you could talk to them?
  14. Would you categorize this story as fiction (not true) or non-fiction (real life)?
  15. What happened in the beginning? The middle? The end?
  16. Could you make up another ending for the story?
  17. Would you recommend this story to a friend? Who and why?
  18. Why do you think the author wrote this story?
  19. Does this story remind you of another story, TV show, poem, or movie? Which one, and why?
** Taken from Four Square: The Total Writing Classroom for Grades 1-4