As children move from toddlerhood to school age, they should increasingly be able to grasp the meaning of language they hear spoken in everyday conversation, as well as in narrative forms, such as books. They show this understanding through their questions and comments. When reading a story, they should freely relate information and events in the book to real-life experiences. As they get older, they should become comfortable with following who said or did what in a story.


Listen to an audio recording of a book on tape. This can be done while looking at the accompanying book or listening to the tape alone. Then have the children draw a picture of their favorite part of the story and talk with them about it.

While reading a book together, ask children questions to help them think about or reflect on vocabulary words, the plot, or something about a character.

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