1. First, Second... Last - Read one of the child's favorite stories. Then
ask the child to tell you what happened first, second, third, ... last. The
child will probably need help and practice with this, at least at first.
2. Select Cartoons - Choose comics that complete a story in one strip, such
as "Peanuts", "Blondie" or "Dennis the Menace". Number each picture on the
back and cut apart. Shuffle the pictures and ask the child to arrange them
in proper sequence. Check the numbers on the back to see if they are correct.
3. What was the Setting ? - After reading a story, book, or viewing a TV
show, ask, "Where did certain parts of the story take place?" At times you
might suggest the child draw pictures of where the story took place. Choose
every opportunity to talk and describe the setting of a particular place or
4. Find the Bargain - Ask the child to use newspaper ads to find things that
are on sale. Have the child make a shopping list of things that are needed
and where they can be bought for the best price.
5. I Am Thinking - Ask the child to read an article from the newspaper.
When the article has been selected and read, have the child summarize it. "I
am thinking of an article which tells _______." It is now up to the parent
to name the article. If you name it correctly, it is your turn to summarize
and have the child identify the article.
6. Main Idea - Find pictures in magazines and books and ask the child to
tell what the main idea in the picture is.
7. Good Titles - Read or make up a short story. Then have a contest to see
who can think of the best title for the story.
8. How Do They Feel? - Find pictures in magazines that show feelings. Talk
about them and then make a collage on a large piece of cardboard paper of
faces that show different feelings. Label the faces with feeling words, such
as excited, disappointed, happy, etc.
9. Act Out the News - Select a news page of the paper. The player who
is "it" looks at the page and selects an item to act out. While the player
is acting it out, others look at the page to try to identify the article.
The person who finds and identifies the article will be the next player to
pantomime an item.
10. Certain Feelings - Think of certain things that have happened to the
child and ask for a description of how the child felt when those things
happened, or have the chold think of his/her own incident.
11. Oh What Characters - After the child has finished reading a story or a
book or after you have read to the child ask:
a. Who were the characters in the story ?
b. What did each one of them look like ?
c. Tell me a little of what they each did in the story.
d. Which character did you like best ? Why ?
e. Was there a character that you did not like ? Who? Why?
12. TV Characters - Ask the child to tell about a favorite character,
describing every detail that can be thought of. Then ask the child to tell
in detail about the character that is disliked the most.
13. What Happened and Why ? - As certain things happen around the school or
at home, ask the child to tell you what happened and why it did. This is to
make them aware of cause and effect.
A package fell out of the car when the door opened.
What happened? The package fell.
Why? The door opened.
14. Predict the Outcome - While reading a story, pause at an exciting place
and ask, "What do you think is going to happen next?" "How do you think the
story will end?" Read to the end of the story to see if the child was right.
15. How will It End? - Cover the last picture of a comic strip and ask the
child to guess what is happening there. What does the child think will
16. Look and Find - Give the child a copy of a newspaper and see how quick
certain news facts you ask for can be found.
What baseball team is ahead in the American League?
What person from Mexico is visiting our government?
What is the purpose of the visit?
What custs of meat are good buys?
17. What's the Solution? - Discuss with the child some of the problems that
may have to be faced and ask for good solutions. Together discuss solutions
to the following:
a. What would you do if you came home and found everything gone and the
b. What would you do if the house caught on fire?
c. What would you do if you had thrown a rock and broken a window?
d. What would you do if you saw someone doing something that was
breaking the law?
18. Real or Make-Believe - Have the child think of as many stories of make-
believe as possible, for example, "Rumplestiltskin" then have the child think
of stries that tell about things that could happen in real like, perhaps some
of the Wilder "little House" series situations. Discuss the differences
between real and make-believe.
19. Fact or Opinion - When the child is telling you something, ask if what
is being told is a fact that actually happened or if it is an opinion.
Discuss the differences.