Activity Seven: Ask Child What Happened in the Story

This technique works well with stories that children know very well. Talking about what happened in the story is important because it helps you see if your child understands the story you are reading.

While reading with your child:

  • After reading a page, you tell your child what happened in the story.
  • Then you ask your child to look at the pictures and tell you what they remembered happened.
  • Tell your child he or she is doing a good job helping you to remember!
  • After reading the next page, you tell your child what happened.
  • Then ask your child to tell you what they remember happened.
  • After reading another page, ask your child to tell you what happened. Be sure to tell your child that he or she is doing a great job!
  • After reading a few more pages, ask your child to tell you what happened.
  • After finishing reading the book, you tell what you remembered happened in the book.
  • Then flip through the page, asking your child what happened on each page.
  • You may ask specific questions about important things that happened to help the child remember.
  • While talking about what happened in the story, you can ask your child to tell you his or her favourite part of the story.


Suggested Book:
A Pocket for Corduroy (Freeman, 1978)
Reason for Book Choice: The story has a lot of repetition and is easy for the child to recall.

*Excerpted from Development of Emergent Literacy in English Language Learning Children Through Parent Shared Reading by Tanya L. Wren, Pathways Children Centre, Windsor, Ontario and Genese Warr-Leeper , University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.

*Warr-Leeper, G., Wren, T., & K. Washington (2006). Facilitating emergent literacy skills in English language learners: The value of team work and collaboration. OSLA Connection Journal, 2(2), 12-16.

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