Reading with Children: Emerging Readers

The process of reading with children varies greatly depending on their age and where they are in the process of learning to read. Here, we’ve listed some information about what to expect and strategies for reading with emerging readers.

The Child:

  • Knows to use illustrations to make an appropriate guess about vocabulary or plot
  • Can read books with limited rhyming or repeating text with some success
  • Attempts to sound out words using knowledge of letters and sounds
  • Can retell a story including details about characters, events and setting

The Books:

  • Often contain patterns of repeated phrases or predictable rhymes
  • Are written using simple and familiar vocabulary
  • Have illustrations that guide children through the text
  • Rarely contain more than one sentence per page

Reading Strategies:

  • Encourage reading or pretend reading. This “reading” from memory provides practice with retelling and practice navigating books correctly.
  • Talk about the story. When the child is finished with a book, be sure to talk about what happened in the story and perhaps re-read favorite parts. Talk about any interesting words or new concepts.
  • Give the child time to figure out each new word.
  • If they get stuck on a word, help them read the word by sounding it out or tell the child the word, re-read the word/sentence and move on.
  • Give the child lots of chances to read the story again and again. This is the key to successful reading. The more the child reads, the more confident he or she will become.