Storytime Strategy: Thinking Out Loud

Bean bags are probably the next best thing that happened to story time.   Library denizens ranging from preschoolers to eighth graders have grown a fondness for those comfy pieces of furniture and have consequently fallen prey to the lure of story time.

For us parents though, the essence of story time goes beyond huge pillows.  What matters most to us is how story time develops our children’s reading and comprehension skills.  One effective technique at making kids understand a story is thinking out loud while reading.

When we think out loud, or talk about the character’s emotions and actions, we encourage kids to think about the story.   Kids learn to predict events and summarize stories.

Questions we could ask are, “Why do you think the character did that?”  “Do you think he’ll come back?”  These prompt the kid to think and understand what the story is about.

One characteristic of a good reader is someone who manages to connect his own life experiences with the story.  By thinking out loud and asking questions as he reads, your kid enhances this skill.

It’s all about interacting with what’s being read and promoting thinking in the listener or reader.  The goal is to inspire active learning through storytime.  When you end up with intelligent readers, then you know that storytime has served its purpose.