How to boost your child's literacy skills by asking the right questions.
Who are the storytellers?
We are surrounded by stories in our everyday lives - in the classroom, in film and TV, and in the lessons we pass down and the knowledge we impart to our children. But how do we put it to good use when trying to boost reading and writing confidence in our children? The answer lies on the questions we ask, and the interest we show.
We often hold up the importance of reading for our children, but the importance of comprehension and interaction is a welcome consequence. Even for younger readers, sharing their experiences and opinions is a vital part of how they see the world and their place in it. A confidence boosting exchange of ideas is often all about talking – what does your child think of the story, and why do they think it? There are a few useful sites on the web to help parents with this. They even split them up into six handy little categories – remembering, evaluating, understanding, applying, analysing, and if your children are enjoying it so much they want a go at producing their own writing, a creative section.
These questions, commonly known as Blooms Taxonomy question stems, are used all over the world to encourage children in their reading. For younger readers begin with simple remembering questions – where is, how many are, what happened after... Through analysing and evaluating their nightly stories, your children will be able to see how tales are created, how characters find their voices, and why writers write in a particular style. This critical thinking will aid them not just with their reading, but with their enthusiasm for the written word, their ability to concentrate on longer films or TV programmes, and their listening skills.
Reading in a group with brothers or sisters is also a good idea, as it not only calms down the whole house before bedtime, it also teaches children that reading can be a social experience. That their brother or sister also has an opinion or feelings on the story just read. This routine before bed will connect their at home and classroom reading experiences – allowing them to see that reading need never be a chore. So after the latest tale at bedtime, let your children have a go at telling their own stories and expressing their own views. You never know where it may lead....
A good link to show simplified Blooms Taxonomy can be found here: