Storytime and Dialogic Reading

Our teachers use a method of storytelling called Dialogic Reading, in which storytime is more of an interactive conversation than just a passive experience for the child. Extensive research has shown that preschool children who have been read to using the Dialogic Reading method outperform their peers who experienced traditional storytime on language assessments later in grade school. You can incorporate dialogic reading at home using the following tips:

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—Encourage your child to finish the line of a story that rhymes or is very familiar to her. For example, say “I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and …” This will help build your child’s confidence in storytelling.
  • Three-year-olds—Don’t read books to your child word-for-word start-to-finish. Instead, pause throughout the book to ask your child open-ended questions, such as “What do you think is happening in this picture?” or “Where do you think the character is right now?” or “How is this story similar to our experience at the zoo?”
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Have your child predict what will happen next in the story. Then, ask him why he predicted that will happen.

Skills Supported: story knowledge, making predictions and personal connections