Understanding Books Read Out Loud


  • To comprehend and respond to books read aloud
  • To respond to questions
  • To use expressive language
  • To recall and retell parts of a selection
  • To build vocabulary

Children's book


Literature Suggestion
Read The Snowy Day by Jack Ezra Keats, or any other book to which children will listen attentively.


  • Play "Who, What, When, Where, Why?" Ask: Who is wearing something on both feet? What are you wearing on your feet? When did you put them on your feet? Where did you put them on? Why did you put them on?
  • Prepare children to listen attentively by telling them that next you're going to ask them lots of questions about a book.


  • Read the book aloud. Ask who, what, when, where, and why questions to help children describe the illustrations and tell what happened in the story. Examples: What is Peter looking at outside his window? Why do you think he wanted to go outside? Why did Peter climb to the top of the mountain of snow?
  • Help all children participate by asking specific questions. Example: Yang, what color is Peter's snow suit?
  • Teacher Tip: Avoid questions that children can answer with only yes or no.
Point out an interesting illustration. Encourage children to ask their own questions about what's happening in the picture.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child listens attentively to the story and is able to answer questions about illustrations or story events accurately.
  • In Process - Child listens fairly attentively to the story and shows understanding by actions, such as laughing or pointing, but needs prompting to respond to questions.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child is distracted, does not show an understanding of the story, or cannot yet respond to questions.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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