One thing that sets good readers apart is the questions they ask themselves while they are reading. To the eye, reading might look like a sedentary task. However, good readers’ minds are anything but sedentary. Research shows that good readers ask themselves questions as they are reading. The questions may focus on what’s going on in the story: “What might happen next?” or “Why did he do that?” Good readers might also ask about words they do not know. “It says she is slumbering. What could that mean?”
Help your child become a better reader by showing him how to ask questions as he reads. When you are reading aloud, stop when you get to an exciting part in the story. Ask your child, “What do you think is going to happen next?” Listen to what your child says. Ask, “Why do you think that?” Then turn back to the book and say, “Let’s see if you’re right.” When you are reading, stop when you read an unfamiliar word. “James is irritable. What could that mean?” Together, think about clues that might show what the word means. After you finish reading, ask questions to help your child connect the book to things he already knows. “Did you ever have a time when you felt irritable like James?” The parent/child talk about reading is as important as the reading itself!