Connecting Read Alouds with Hands-On Activities
Join us for an active summer afternoon at the Ruby Tucker Family Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Kids and volunteers come together around books in this year-round reading program developed by The Reading Connection, a local literacy organization.
Personal connections and new vocabulary
Farms and farming are the themes for the day. Watch how volunteer Shakara Helaire engages the kids in active conversation about vegetables, and how an outdoor "milking station" turns into a memorable way to learn new vocabulary words like "pasteurizing."
Reading Tip Sheets for Parents
Our one-page parent tips offer easy ways for parents to help kids become successful readers. Although we've divided these tips by age, many of them can be used with children at various ages and stages — we encourage you to choose the ones that work best for your child.
We have tip sheets for parents of preschoolers, kindergarteners, first graders, second graders, and third graders.
Available in English and 10 other languages: Spanish, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Korean, Navajo, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
Reading Tip of the Day
Sign up to receive our reading tips as text messages delivered right to your mobile phone, 3-4 times each week. These simple tips are available in English or Spanish.
How Can Something as Simple as Reading to a Child Be So Effective?
We read to children for all the same reasons we talk with children: to reassure, to entertain, to bond; to inform or explain, to arouse curiosity, to inspire. But in reading aloud, we also condition the child's brain to associate reading with pleasure, create background knowledge, build vocabulary, and provide a reading role model.
Getting the Most Out of Nonfiction Reading Time
Nonfiction books give kids a chance to learn new concepts and vocabulary, as well as broaden their view of the world. Learn how to take a "book walk" with a new nonfiction book and how to model active reading.
Sharing Wordless Picture Books
Sharing wordless books is a terrific way to build important literacy skills, including listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension and an increased awareness of how stories are structured. Here are some tips for sharing wordless picture books with a child.
The Importance of Reading Widely
Sharing lots of different kinds, or genres, of books with your child exposes him to different words, different kinds of images, and whole new worlds. This tip sheet suggests some genres to try with your young reader that complement 'traditional' fiction. Some are suggestions for read alouds, while others may be ones your child can read on his own.
Poems at Home
Sharing poetry with kids is a great way to highlight language. Poems include humor, interesting words, tongue twisters, alliteration, and opportunities for choral reading among other important literacy concepts. This article provides guidelines for a family poetry jam — a great way to promote literacy and togetherness in your own home.
Use a PEER When You Read Aloud
The best story times are very interactive: You are talking about and reading the story, your child is talking, and there is conversation taking place between the two of you. Read below to learn more about dialogic reading and PEER, a method to help you remember a few important ways to read in this interactive way.
Picture This! Using Mental Imagery While Reading
One way to help a child comprehend what he is reading is to encourage him to visualize parts of the story in his mind. These "mind movies" help clarify information, increase understanding, and can include any of the five senses. Try these practices below when reading with your child.
Reading Aloud to Build Comprehension
Children learn when they make connections between what they hear and what they know. One method parents can use to help make these connections is called a think aloud, where you talk through your thoughts as you read. Here are three ways to use think alouds, with examples from some of our favorite kids' books. Try these ideas to expand learning and to improve reading comprehension.
Mission Critical: Reading Together to Build Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking, the ability to think deeply about a topic or a book, is an essential skill for children to develop. Here are some helpful tips and recommended books to strengthen your child's ability to think critically.