Help Your Child Get Ready to Read

Chevy Chase Library

Help Your Child Get Ready to Read

Literacy Skill: Narrative Skills and Comprehension

Narrative skills are using expressive language, including describing things, putting events in order and retelling stories.  These skills are important because they will help children understand what they are hearing and reading once they begin to read. An example of a narrative skill is the ability to tell what happens in a book either by listening to the text or “reading the pictures or visual art .”  Telling and sequencing events about a zoo or store trip strengthens this skill.

Use of puppets and flannel board materials to retell or create originals stories also develops narrative skills.  Telling how the story starts, what happens next, and how does the story end helps to internalize and comprehend the story.  Look at the pictures and make predictions about events.  Sing songs that narrate your daily activities, “This is the way I put on my socks, my shoes, my shirt, my pants etc. every day of the week.” Read favorites over and over again and make reading and books a joyous time. 

Some good books for developing Narrative Skills are:
Bark George, by Jules Feiffer
Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson
Carl books, by Alexandra Day
Ella Sarah Gets Dressed, by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Kiss Good Night, by Amy Hest
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, by Mo Willems