Parent Resources:


Dialogic Reading

Dialogic Reading means talking with your child about what you are reading. It is one of the most powerful tools you can use to help your child get ready to learn to read. This works best with picture books, but you can use these techniques even without a book.

How do I do Dialogic Reading?

Ask open-ended questions about the book, like "What is happening in this picture?" If your child doesn't know what to say about a picture, provide something and have your child repeat it. As your child gets used to open-ended questions, ask your child to say more.
Expand what your child says. Keep the expansions short and simple. If your child says, "The bunny is wearing a coat," respond, "Yes. The bunny is wearing a blue coat, isn't he? Can you say that?" Have your child repeat your expansions. As your child gets used to open-ended questions, ask him or her to say more.

If you have time, read a book twice. The first time, just read the book as you normally would. The second time, ask questions while you are reading and let your child direct you through the book. Remember to praise and encourage your child as you explore the book together.
The most important thing to remember when reading with your child is to make it a positive experience. If your child is in a bad mood, put the book away for another time. If your child thinks of reading as a fun or comforting thing to do, he or she will be a better reader.

Choosing Books

Pre-Talkers - 0 to 2 years old

  • Choose sturdy board books that your baby can play with and hold
  • Choose books with colorful, simple illustrations – less detail
  • Choose books with illustrations that have sharp contrasts – black and white
  • Choose books with photographs of real babies
  • Choose books with pictures of familiar objects
  • Choose books with simple stories
  • Choose books with only a few words per page

Talkers - 2 to 3 years old

  • Choose books with simple stories
  • Choose books with colorful and interesting illustrations
  • Choose books with pictures of familiar items – talk about them with your child
  • Choose picture books with predictable stories and repeating words and phrases
  • Choose picture books about familiar activities – talk with your child about how he/she does these things too
  • Choose books with favorite characters and subjects

Pre-Readers - 3 to 5 years old

  • Choose books that reflect the interests of your child
  • Allow your child to choose some of the books you will read together
  • Choose books with rhyming words, tongue twisters, alliteration and silly songs
  • Choose wordless picture books and let your child tell the story