Tag Archives

The Importance of Nonfiction Text Features

We all know that our children should be reading at least some nonfiction.  Maybe they like to read books on their favorite sports stars, look at magazine articles from Highlights or Scholastic News, or research animals online.  No matter what form your child’s nonfiction reading takes, a key to understanding nonfiction is the ability to recognize common text features. What are Text Features? Nonfiction

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Help for Struggling Readers: Part 2 (Sight Words)

Children who dislike reading often feel that way because they struggle to read the words that make up a story or book.  Part of the problem may be a lack of understanding how to sound out words. (You can read more about how to help your child sound out words in this post.)  Another area that is difficult for struggling readers is sight words.

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Studying Character Traits

A main skill taught in reading classes is the ability to understand characters in books and stories.  There are four main aspects to studying character: character traits, character development, character’s words, and character’s actions.  Understanding basic character traits allows your child to understand the motives of the characters in books and the decisions they make. Define Common Character Traits Before your child can assign

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Studying Types of Characters

In our last post on studying characters, we discussed the importance of learning about character traits.  Characters in books can also be classifying into types in two ways.  They can be sorted by how much information the author gives about the character and by whether or not the character changes throughout the story.  Children need to understand the difference between these types of characters

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Studying Character through Dialogue

So far in this series, we have talked about studying character traits and their meanings and identifying the different types of characters in a story.  An author uses the dialogue in a story to tell us things about the characters.  When studying character, it is helpful to focus on the words of the characters in the story.  Both the words of the character you

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Studying Character with Young Children

Children who are just learning to read can still study characters in a simplified form.  They can still focus on character traits, types of characters, and the dialogue of characters.  All of these skills are just as important for young readers to learn and practice. Simple Character Traits When you are just starting to teach children about character traits, stick to the simple traits

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Studying an Author

Completing an author study is a great opportunity to dig deeper into the books your child is reading.  An author study involves reading several books by the same author and then learning about the author’s life as well.  It is a little more work than just letting your children read, but the benefits are worth the extra work. Choose an Author While their are

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Practicing Oral Reading on Video

Many children love to see themselves in pictures and in videos.  They make silly faces and beg to see how the picture turned out.  They ham it up for the video camera and then want to watch the clip over and over again.  Why not use this desire as a way to practice oral reading? Most laptops or tablets these days come with a

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Practice, Practice, Practice Reading

One of the keys to raising children who are readers is to get them reading fluently as soon as possible.  A child who finds reading easy will often also enjoy reading.  However until a child is reading fluently, they need lots of practice sounding out words and reading sight words.  Rather than just reading the same short stories over and over, why not change

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Finding the Theme of a Book

Every novel has an overarching theme: a message that the author is trying to get across.  It can be very challenging for children to learn how to identify the theme of a book. Here are some ways that you can make identifying a theme easier. List Common Book Themes Start with a list of common book themes.  Spend a few days talking about those

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