Monday, May 20, 2013

Key elements of storybook reading by HomeSweetSpeechRoom!!!

Thanks so much to Kristine for inviting me to guest post today! I'm excited to share with you about the key elements of storybook reading!

For starters, what do you think about when you think storybook reading?  I thought title, characters, and plot and making sure the students understand those basic elements.  Well, I was wrong!  Here's what I learned through one of my supervisors (Ackerson, 2010).

1st element--Forming groups based on ability.  Some students will be able to answer WH-questions without much cueing; other students will need binary choices and picture cards to help them answer questions.  We had multiple clinicians, so the groups could happen at the same time.  But if you needed to do them at two different times, that's ok!  You can use the same book and same basic lesson plan.  The difference is how you target the vocabulary and other language concepts.

2nd element--Language content.  Language content refers to the basic receptive and expressive language elements that you want the students to get out of your session.  This could include nouns, verbs, descriptive words, or "fun" words (or movement words such as "swoosh").  These are the words that you will emphasize while reading, be it through extra time or volume while reading, WH-questions, or repetition of the word itself.

3rd element--Macrostructure elements. These are things you have probably been doing all along!  These elements include title, setting, problem, and resolution.  Label these parts of the story with the students.  The next day, ask them about it to see if they can recall what they learned the day before.  An example question is, "Who is this story about?" and the students would either answer aloud or point.  This element also includes predictions.  Ask the students what they think is going to happen in the story.  Then, later, discuss if they were correct and why or why not. 

4th element--Syntax/morphology.  This might not be something we think about immediately, but preschoolers and young elementary students can benefit from language stimulation and hearing correct grammar, even if it isn't one of their goals.  Ask questions that require an answer with a copular "to be" or present progressive.  Think back to Brown's Morphemes.

5th element--Word and picture knowledge.  Focus on teaching students where the writing starts, that we read left to right, that we read words and not pictures, what the front and back cover are, etc.  These are essential literacy skills that the students will need for future academic success.

6th element--Phonological awareness.  This can be sound-letter awareness ("Her name starts with B so it starts with the /b/ sound") or the students' articulation/phonological target words.  Pick books that have those sounds embedded in them! Speechy Musings has a great list of books by target sound here.

7th element--Discussion and application.  Discussion can happen throughout the storybook reading somewhat, but be sure to follow-up after reading with those WH-questions, targeting speech sounds and literacy elements as well.  The application can be a simple questions such as, "How are we a team?" or "Who are you on a team with?"  It can also be something like a simple craft to do after the reading.

Phew! That's a lot of info.  Here's a quick recap:

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I hope that this information was as helpful for you as it was for me!  Storybook reading will never be the same!

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