Activities to boost your beginning reader's knowledge

A good knowledge base is key to your child's reading skills.

By GreatSchools Staff

What’s the story?

Understanding key story-telling components – characters, setting, plot, and language – is an important part of becoming a strong reader.

What you’ll need:

What to do:

Ask your child about a favorite book and why she likes it. Is it because of the plot – the story is funny, surprising, or exciting? Or is it because the characters are really interesting? Is the setting in which the book takes place is especially cool? Or does your child love how the writer chooses words? If your child chooses a book that is really about playing with language – like Dr. Seuss – then think of another kind of book that is especially strong in another realm. For instance, Arthur books hook readers with their quirky, engaging characters, and Where the Wild Things Are can’t be beat when it comes to a wonderful setting.

 

Learn all about it!

What’s your child passionate about at the moment? Whether it's kittens, swords, or surfing, head to the library and help her find every source she can on subject.

What you’ll need:

What to do:

At the library, look at books – both fiction and nonfiction – as well as magazines, comics, and newspapers. Let her explore to her heart's content, and encourage her to talk about what she learned at dinner that night.

 

Make a poster

From robots and snakes to zombies and airplanes, help your child make a simple poster about whatever she's interested in.

What you’ll need:

Help your child choose a subject she’s passionate about. Go to the library and find books on the subject, and have your child find out five interesting facts about it (for example, "Scientists believe that birds are descended from dinosaurs."). She can include these facts on the poster, along with illustrations and pictures you find online or in magazines.

 

Know where you're at

Improve your child’s geography skills with stories from afar.

What you’ll need

What to do:
Have a world globe, atlas, or computer on hand when you’re reading and show your child where the story takes place. Make a point of reading stories from different countries and far off places, and find them on the map. Let your child try to find China on the map, or Paris, or the Nile river and help him locate where you live, too.