Get the Discussion Guides Here
- Episode One: Journey into the Enchanted Kingdom of Sugarwood
- Episode Two: Princesse Pearl and the Porcupine Pickin’ Party
- Episode Three: The Magical Mishaps at Mrs. Scuttlebug’s
Why is Initiating Story Discussions with Kids So Important?
While reading with your kids is important, it’s not enough for them simply to know which letter combinations create what words. They need to understand what those words mean and how to expound upon the introduced ideas, as this is the basis for their education. To further increase comprehension and critical thinking, we need to teach children how to read actively. There are a plethora of resources in books and online, but to get you started immediately, we’ve included few options below, including how to teach predicting and visualizing.
How Often Should You Do Encourage Active Reading?
Every time you read, you should encourage your child to participate actively. We understand that sometimes just finding the time to sit down with a book can be a difficult task. Luckily, incorporating active reading strategies doesn’t have to be all that time consuming or challenging—meaning that you can use at least one technique each session. Before then, review the steps below and think about how to use these during your story hour.
How Can You Ensure Your Kids Get The Most From Reading?
STEP ONE: BEFORE A READING:
Each of our discussion packages includes a summary about each story. Read this aloud to your child and ask them to tell you what they think will happen in the book. According to Amy Mascott, reading specialist and creator of TeachMama, predicting:
- Gets kids thinking
- Keeps them engaged in the text because their curiosity is activated
- Helps kids remember what they’ve read/heard
- Will make your little ones better readers and thinkers.
Basically, the schema theory promotes the idea that accessing prior knowledge of a subject helps an individual comprehend a new subject. Encouraging your child to think about her past experiences in relation to the current topic will not only help her retain information, but she’ll be that much more interested.
STEP TWO: DURING A READING:
Ask Critical Questions
Throughout the book, make sure to stop and ask your child questions that get her thinking about different elements of the story. What does she think about the actions of a certain character? What does she think is going to take place? What would happen if a scene in a story was written differently? To help get you started, we include a discussions package for each story that has a list of questions for before, during, and after a reading session.
Talk About The Pictures
Illustrations help bring the written word to life for kids. Use these concrete images as conversation starters.
STEP THREE: AFTER A READING:
Ask More Questions
As mentioned, we do have questions in the package, but don’t limit the conversation to just story time. During the week or so that follows a reading, try to relate the lessons from the book to something in the child’s reality. This is a great way to really bring the book and its lessons to the forefront of a child’s mind.
Do Some Story-Related Activities
Similar to the above suggestion, it’s always a great idea to incorporate ways to bring the story to life. For example, in the first book, we mention how Princesse Pearl can’t wait to go home and make Fairy Cookies with her mom. This is a great activity to do at home, because not only does your child feel connected to the story, but it opens up the opportunity to talk about the theme, in this case self-confidence, and offers a very real, very immediate way to share this lesson.
We used some of the great information over at www.teachmama.com to help us create our active reading list.