Dialogic reading: How to Facilitate Extra Conversation With Your Child During Story Time

If you are looking for a way to make reading a little extra special, look no further! Dialogic reading is what you need and I’m going to walk you through the whole, easy process.

Dialogic reading is the process of expanding on your kids' thoughts and ideas while reading a simple book at storytime.

Reading to your kids is such an awesome way to facilitate a love for reading. But did you know that you don’t have to just read the words on the page? You can ask questions and talk about pictures to expand on just the words of the story. This is called dialogic reading and we use it frequently in our house and I used it a lot when I was a preschool teacher.

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What is dialogic reading?

Dialogic reading is a style of reading that helps you make the most of reading books to young children. By talking about pictures and asking follow up or foreshadowing questions, you can improve the reading experience and outcome! Your goal, as the reader, is to prompt your child into more critical thinking and imagination. You do this by following the CROWD technique.

  • Completion prompts: Give them an open ended sentence with a blank end word, encouraging them to finish it. For example: “one fish, two fish, red fish, blue ___.” This prompt is typically used in rhyming books.
  • Recall prompts: This prompt is you asking the child to recall something they’ve read previously in the book or when they’ve read the book previously.
  • Open-ended prompts: Asking the child a question regarding the pictures they see in the book. “Can you tell me what’s happening in this picture?”
  • Wh- prompts: Questions to ask the child with Wh words to start. “Where are they going?” “What is his name?” “Why is he wearing a red shirt?” “What kind of vehicle is that?”
  • Distancing prompts: You’re asking the children to relate words, pictures, instances with things that happen in real life. “See that horse? Do you remember when we saw a horse at the zoo yesterday? Can you recall his name?”

What is the purpose of dialogic reading?

The purpose of dialogic reading is to get your children to expand their vocabulary, think critically, exercise their imagination and (let’s be real here) not go insane from reading the same words over and over again when your kid gets on a week long kick of the same book – amiright?!

What are the benefits of dialogic reading?

Dialogic reading carries so many benefits! You are teaching your kids new words, helping with memory recall. You are also, in turn, handing over the “reading” to the child. Your child can now use the information from the book to tell their own story or finish the current story. This helps them learn how to read.

What is an interactive read aloud?

An interactive read aloud is when you sit with your child and read a book using dialogic reading. It teaches them that it’s okay to interrupt a book reading to ask more questions, make important comments, relate the story to their life, etc. It’s an opportunity for children to work on all these important early literacy skills!

Ready to download the cheat sheet? This paper can be used as a bookmark and will help you gain the confidence to do some dialogic reading with your little one! Access it here!

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