Hi friends. This is a post that Jet (Little) and I (CG) wrote up together. ^^
Recently we realized that storytime can be done in very different ways. Of course it should be just that, but we wanted to share how we do storytime. This may be particularly enjoyed by Littles that like to be involved or may space out when being read to (which may not be a desired effect)!
How to: Guided Reading 101 (from my perspective!)
Guided Reading: What is it?
If you’re a parent or have ever been a caregiver to a child, you may already know what this is and/or have done it without knowing it!
A guided reading is essentially reading through a storybook and asking questions. The questions can be related to the pictures, the story, and/or asking relatable questions to your Little.
For example, let’s look at this page from a storybook:
Some possible questions I would ask would be:
- What do you see on this page? (Point out the raccoon, leaves, tree, ladybug, birds.)
- Where do you think this take places? (ie: park, forest)
- What season do you think this is? Do you like that season? Why?
- Have you ever seen a raccoon before?
- How does the raccoon look? (ie: sad) Why do you think he looks like that?
- Why do you think Chester Raccoon is crying?
- Have you ever cried because you wanted to stay home?
- What made you feel better?
- What do I (the CG) do that makes you feel better when you’re sad?
A few points on how to hold the book while reading:
My Little and I are LD and we do storytime through vid calls so I typically hold the storybook in front of me or to the side of me while I’m reading and will point out pictures as I go. Since picture books can be rather large, I’ll typically read the text and then slowly move the book across the camera from right to left so they can see the picture(s) close up.
If you and your Little are physically in the same room, a good way to go is to sit next to each other and have the book in front of both of you while reading. Still point out the different parts of the page as you’re reading though!
Or you could also sit across from each other in a more traditional non-bedtime storytime setting and hold the book in front of you or to the side. See what’s more comfortable for you since you want your Little to be able to see the pictures but you also need to be able to read any words on the page.
It’s all about your Little’s needs and interests! Gauge whether they like answering questions or if they seem like they just need one or two every few pages to keep focused.
Reading level and tone:
We tend to use books that have at most 1-2 sentences per page since my Little really loves guided reading questions.
Depending on when storytime is taking place, you may want to change your tone. For example, if you’re reading a bedtime story you may want to use less inflection and go with a quiet monotone.
Counting books can help with lulling a Little to sleep since their attention doesn’t quite need to be focused on the pictures as your voice leads them in counting.
Why guided reading?:
As touched on briefly, some Littles really like to be involved in the process of storytime and what’s more fun than being a part of a book?
Keep in mind that children’s books are written typically with an inherent message. So, if your Little is having a tough time with school or is feeling sad, reading a book about a character who’s having a tough time with school or is feeling sad could be a good way to help them out. It could help by having them talk about it indirectly (just think of this as the “I have a friend who’s got this problem…”) or just for them to connect to a storybook character knowing that it’s not just them who goes through x.
From a Little’s Perspective
I really like being read to, but also having pictures to see and analyze keeps things interesting too. As a kid, some of my favorite books were comics like Garfield and “Where’s Wally?”.
My caregiver is really amazing because she gets lots of books from the library to read to me each week and it makes me really happy! We have a big pile of 13 or so books! So much reading! All the reading!
It’s good to have a variety of books, it makes things interesting. Some days she reads me books with lots of words, and some days only short sentences. And some days, it's only pictures, and I have to describe what I see.
Also one time when it was late and I couldn’t sleep, my CG read me a counting book and we counted stars together and I fell asleep quickly.
And she gives me lots of cuddles too because cuddles and reading goes together. And naptime after because that’s part of storytime.
Sometimes storytime makes me excited and then I can’t go to sleep. (e.g Funny books)
But when there are lots of questions involved, it often tires me out and I fall asleep soon after.
If you’re a little who wants this style of reading, you should harass your CG to do it. Maybe be brat and throw a tantrum and tell them they gotta up their reading game to be awesomer, and threaten to stay up super late and play games past your bedtime. yep!
M here: What Jet meant to say was. If you’re a Little who thinks that you may enjoy guided reading for storytime, be sure to have a nice talk with your CG to encourage them to try out this style of reading next storytime.
Feel free to post your own methods/tips for guided reading and storytime. We’d love to know your thoughts! We encourage you to show your library some lovin’ and to take out some fun books for storytime! ^^
This post was brought to you by JaM. (Jet and MysticSand)
Edited by MysticSand, 04 April 2019 - 08:17 PM.