Do you read with expression to your child?
Have you ever been to a story time where the person reading the story has barely any expression and you find your child not engaged in the story?
Reading with expression and emotion can make a significant difference in your child’s ability to comprehend and recall information during book reading time. Since many preschoolers are not literate yet, they rely heavily on listening to stories being read to them. I think as parents, most of us naturally use our voices with varying pitch, pauses, and loudness to emphasize certain concepts and feelings of characters in the story. However, being aware of it and knowing that you are doing something good for your child while doing it is another thing! To read more about reading expression and to see the research study, check out my post here.
Here are some helpful tips in how to read with expression when reading The Monkey Balloon:
1. Emphasize punctuation markers such as exclamation marks, question marks, etc. For example when reading the line, “Maybe the Monkey Balloon is going down the slide!” emphasize the exclamation mark.
2. Use intonation to correlate with the characters emotions (e.g. when Mimi loses her balloon, use a voice that indicates that specific feeling if losing a balloon)
3. As you are reading, pay attention to how your child is reacting when your voice changes according to the emotion of the character. Ask questions, encourage comments and get your child involved by asking “How does Mimi feel when she loses her balloon?”
4. Point out the difference between a question mark and an exclamation mark. Model how you use your voice differently when reading the different punctuation markers. For tips on how to use print referencing when reading The Monkey Balloon, click here.
5. Use body language when reading the book. For example, when reading about the school bus, use your arms to pretend like you are driving the bus.
For children who are language delayed:
Make the book come to life specifically with toddlers and children with language delays. Give one picture on each page a sound. Whether it’s the ice cream cone going “drip drip” or the bus going “beep beep”. You may feel “silly” but that means you are doing it right! For more tips on language and learning with The Monkey Balloon, click here.
Have fun and encourage your child to be the storyteller! To each how your child to be the storyteller, stay tuned for our next blog post about dialogic reading!