Tips for Reading Informational Books

As your child reads for information (nonfiction books) help him/her use these reading strategies to enhance his/her understanding.

Before Reading:

1) Preview the Book: Look at the photographs with your child and talk about what you see. Ask: "What do think we will be reading about?"

2) Activate Your Child's Prior Knowlege: Talk to your child about what s/he already knows about the topic. Say: "We are going to be reading about whales. What do you already know about whales?"

During Reading:

1) Stop and Talk About New Facts: Take time to talk about what you are learning and how your knowledge is changing. Say. "Wow, the book says that blue whales are the largest animal that ever lived. I didn't know that, did you?"

2) Make Connections: Help your child make comparisions with what s/he already knows. For example, if s/he is reading about how whales have blubber to stay warm, you might ask, "Can you think of another animal that has blubber to stay warm?" Or say, "It says that whales migrate. That reminds me of what we read about butterflies."

After Reading:

1) Stop and Talk About What You Learned: Take time to talk about what you learned from the book. Ask: "What did you learn about whales from reading this book?"

2) Ask Questions: Check your child's understanding by asking questions that can be answered from the book. Ask: "What did the author say blue whales eat?" Next, ask your child to ask you a question.