Responsive Reading with Your Preschooler

When children are learning about books, keeping them actively involved is a good way for them to gain more from their time with you and their reading. One great way to do get them involved is with dialogic reading. Great for use with children just beginning to learn about books, this reading style encourages the child to be an active participant in the reading process, talking with the adult about what they are learning.

There are many ways to engage your child in the story, keeping both of you interested and allowing the child to talk about what they are seeing. Ask them what shapes, colors, and words they see or know. While reading, prompting them with questions is encouraged, as is responding to what the child is saying about the book. After asking a question, following up with more detail also helps the child to grow their understanding.

Dialogic reading helps the child to begin talking about their reading, an important process in improving vocabulary, understanding, and the ability to talk about what they read (oral language skills). It also teaches the child that reading can be a responsive, social activity.