What brings parents and children from all over the city to Chandler Public Libraries? Storytime! High Five is a great addition to Storytimes at Chandler Public Library, and introduces five key concepts in early literacy: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play. But there's more to say about Early Literacy! Read on to learn about how reading helps your child learn narrative skills.
Narrative Skills include the ability to describe things, to tell events in order and to retell stories. Research shows that those children who come to Kindergarten with strong Narrative Skills are better prepared to learn to read. You can help your child develop this important skill through fun and simple activities at home.
Spend time each day singing songs about or simply naming body parts. Eyes, nose and toes are a great place to start but don’t shy away from shin, ankle, wrist and so on. If your child can point to his belly button, he can just as easily point out his forehead. The more you tell him, the more he’ll know.
Toddlers will quickly learn to name all those unique body parts, too. Toddlers are also ready for narrative language that details their daily activities. Use narrative terms - first, next, then, after and finally - when speaking with your toddler. “First we are going to get dressed, then we will have breakfast and after breakfast we will go to storytime!”
Toddlers as well as preschoolers are able to work on retelling stories. After reading books together ask your toddler to help you retell the story using puppets or flannel pieces. If she gets the order wrong, gently remind her using narrative terms. “Remember, first the dog went to the barn and then he went to the lake. Finally he went inside the house and that was the end.” After reading a book with your preschooler you can ask him questions about the story to help him retell it orally - What happened at the beginning of the story? What happened next? How did the story end?
These simple activities, added to all the wonderful conversation you’re already having with your child, will help build strong Narrative Skills, ensuring your child’s formal reading education has a lovely beginning, middle and end!
Need book suggestions? Check out the book lists on our Age 0 - 5 page for stories to help your child practice beginnings, middles and endings.