St. Patrick's National School, Diswellstown, Castleknock.

Email: Phone: 01 824 9930 Fax: 01 824 9928

Address: Diswellstown Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15, D15 PH21.

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Shared Reading Activities

The main aim of our shared-reading programme is to foster an enjoyment of reading and to provide opportunities for the children to become familiar with books, letters and words. As the children begin to read more and more books, they will be getting fewer words to practise at home as they will pick up the words more easily from seeing them in context.

At this stage, children will only be able to read a few words in the books they take home. Both you and your child can share the reading. Perhaps you might like to read the story to begin with, pausing at words that you think your child might know. Modeling putting your fingers under the words as you read them helps your child to see the relationship between the written and the spoken text. They will soon see that each spoken word is represented by a written word in the book.

Pre -Reading Activities:
Encourage your child to predict what they think the book will be about by using the title and cover illustrations as clues. They might like to scan through the pictures before they start reading, to spark interest in the story.
What do you think this story will be about?
I see a (dog) on the cover. Have you ever read a story about a (dog) before?
Take a look at the pictures. Can you pretend to be the author and make up the story as you turn each page? (Looking at just the pictures, not the words)

We are working on identifying the different parts of the book and getting the children to think about left-right orientation. Some focus questions could be:

Show me the front/back cover.
Show me the spine of the book.
Where is the barcode? Why do books have barcodes?
Where is the title?
Point to the illustration.
What is the first word that we should read?
Can you point to the very last word on the page?
Where is the full-stop?

During-Reading Activities:
While reading, the focus should be on enjoyment and comprehension. Reading fluently and not stopping to ask too many questions is key. If your child is stuck on a word, encourage him/her to look at the picture and make a guess at what the word might be.

After-Reading Activities:

  • Did you enjoy this book?
  • Do you remember what happened at the beginning/end of the story?
  • Are there any characters in this book?
  • Were any of your predictions correct?
  • Did this story remind you of any other stories that we have read?
  • Can you think of a time when something happened in your life that was similar to what happened in this story?

If it is a non-fiction book, your child could see of any of the objects mentioned are in their house or discuss a time when they have come across these objects before.

Word/letter identification activities could include asking your child to select a favourite page and then using this page in the following ways:
Ask him/her to point to specific words such as 'the, it, is, in, look, a, see, at'.
Make a letter sound and ask him to find the letter on the page that makes for you to find.
Name a letter and ask him/her to find that letter. This can also be reversed.
Ask him/her to read words in isolation to assess whether or not he knows them or is just relying on the repetitive nature of the text to read.

If time permits, your child might like to draw a picture of their favourite part in the story. In school we are learning to add details to our drawings. You might like to chat to your child about including all body parts if they are drawing people. They might like to add details such as trees, grass, birds, etc. as they see fit. We have also been practising making some pre-writing patterns. These can be revised by asking your child to draw a zig-zag/loop the loop/bunny hop border to finish off their drawing.

Most importantly, enjoy sharing these books with your child! Beginning to read is an exciting stage in a child's life and we hope that you enjoy the experience too.