Literacy and English

Supporting Reading at Home P1-3

It is helpful if you can do the following types of activities (different activities each night):

  • Read the book to the child
  • Read the book with the child
  • Hear the child read the book
  • Discuss the author and title
  • Stop occasionally and discuss what is happening in the pictures
  • Stop occasionally and predict what might happen next
  • Relate the story to their own personal experiences
  • Discuss the story generally

– How did the story make them feel? Why?

– What was their favourite part? Why?

– Did they like the ending?

– Can they think of an alternative ending?

  • Can they re-tell the story in their own words?
  • How is the character feeling and why?

Talk about part of the story, e.g.

  • Sequence events in the story (what happened first, next, after that)
  • Reasons for events – Why do you think this happened?
  • Characters’ behaviour, feelings and relationships and relate these to their own experiences
  • Find tricky words – what do they mean?
  • Find favourite words/phrases
  • Find a word that rhymes with….
  • How many sentences are on page 6? How do you know?
  • Why has “Floppy” got a capital letter?
  • Find the biggest/smallest word
  • Find a word that means the same as/ opposite of..
  • Which word tells us how …… is feeling?
  • How do you know that ……. is speaking?
  • Why is there a ! on page 6? What is it called?
  • Draw a question mark in the air and find one on page ….
  • How could you join the two sentences on page ….

( If the pupil answers YES or NO then the question is too “skinny” – try to avoid Yes/No questions )

Supporting Reading at Home P4-7

You can continue to support you child’s reading development at home by encouraging them to read widely and talking to them about the text.

For example

Fiction Texts

  • What is the atmosphere of this chapter? What makes you think that?
  • What was the main event in this chapter?
  • What do you think about the action/main event? Why?
  • How did the main character feel about that? How do you know?
  • Was the character justified in his actions?
  • What effect did his actions have on the other characters? What words give you that impression?
  • Can you explain why you think the main event happened?
  • What do you think might happen next? What makes you think that?
  • Is there anything that puzzles you?
  • Where do you think the author has been the most effective? Why?
  • Think of an alternative beginning or ending for the text
  • Design a new cover and title for the book
  • Predict what will happen next in the book
  • Grammar hunt – read and find a given number of nouns or verbs, adverbs, pronouns etc
  • Find the longest/trickiest word from each page in the chapter and teach each other how to spell them
  • Find 10 adjectives/adverbs and give alternatives
  • Look in text for alternatives to “said”
  • Summarise the chapter by identifying the key points
  • Look for the techniques the author has used to make the reader feel a certain way about a character

( If the pupil answers YES or NO then the question is too “skinny” – try to avoid Yes/No questions)


  • Discuss cover, type of genre and what information they may expect to be in the book
  • Discuss what they already know about this topic
  • What do you want to find out from the book?
  • What will help you find the information – contents, index, headings, sub-headings
  • What have you found out? What can you teach me?
  • What was the most interesting/funniest/useful fact?
  • Tell me what you learned in you own words?

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