Why Talking about Reading Matters … and How to Do It

Talking about the books you read is just as important as reading them. Discussing a story or a book with your child helps your child understand it and connect it to his or her own experience of life. It also helps enrich your child’s vocabulary with new words and phrases.

Here are some ways to help your child acquire skills in comprehension, reasoning, and critical thinking:

  • Ask your child about the kinds of books they would like to read.
  • Talk to your child about your favourite books from childhood, and offer to read them.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions and to comment on the story and pictures in a book – before, during, and after reading it.
  • Look at the cover and the title of a book with your child, and ask your child what they think might happen in the story.
  • Encourage your child to think critically about the story. Do they agree or disagree with the author? Why?
  • Think out loud about the story as you read, and encourage your child to do the same. For example, ask, “Does this make sense? Why or why not?”
  • Give your child time to think about the story, and then ask them about it again a few days later.