Building Language Arts Skills
Tips for Parents
- Read a story to your child, then ask him or her to tell the story backto you. This is essentially an effort to see what listening skills your childhas developed. Is he or she able to relate the major elements of the story? Doeshe or she understand the story?
You should read to your child every day during these early, formativeyears. Your child's interest in the stories you read will tell you a great dealabout his or her developing listening and comprehension skills. By sometimesasking your child to tell the story back to you, you not only observe the growthof these skills but also encourage two-way communication.
Using the format of one of the stories you read, write a story togetherwith your child. You write the first line, have your child write the second, onso on. This is another way of ascertaining whether your child understands storysequence; it also encourages the child to write creatively.
Read newspaper headlines together and try to figure out what the story isabout. This will help make the newspaper important to your child, as well asproviding reading practice.
Draw a picture together with your child; then each of you tell a story fromit.
Keep adding new words to your conversations. This is one means of expandingyour child's language base.
See how well your child listens to and passes on information. Ask yourchild to remind his or her mother, father, brother, or sister of something.
It is important that children know the names of objects in theirenvironment. You can gain insight into what your child knows by playing games.You might look at a photograph or illustration and say, "Let's find all theponds, lakes, birch trees, trucks, hills, street names, restaurants," andso on.
Give each other words, with the idea that you are to make up a story aroundthe word. This is an interesting way to see what words your child is learningand how he or she understands them.
Committing things to memory is a good exercise for the early years. Each ofyou memorize a poem or story to tell to the other.
Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your 2nd Grader by Vito Perrone, published by Chelsea House Publishers.
Copyright 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co. All rights reserved.