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picture book walks are another way of reading a story

Take a Picture Book Walk...

...and help children learn important early literacy skills - especially background knowledge and vocabulary!

A Picture Book Walk helps develop your children's language and pre-reading skills. Have a conversation with your child around a book before you read it. Talk about the pictures keeping in mind what is needed to understand the story when it is read.

  • A Picture Book Walk is not reading the book: it's talking about the pictures - getting to know the book together

  • A Picture Book Walk works best with books that have a predictable sequence or story.

  • When using this reading technique, speak in the language that is most comfortable for YOU!

What to Do:

  • Look at the cover.

  • Point to and say name of author and title.

  • Looking at the cover, ask your child what he thinks the book will be about.

  • Without reading the words in the book, encourage your child to turn the pages one at a time.

  • Point to a picture and ask "what" questions

    •   What do you see on this page?

    •   What is happening?

    •   What is this picture telling you?

    •   What do you think will happen?

  • When you talk about the pictures

    •   Take turns talking

    •   Introduce new words; explain what they mean

    •   Add a bit more information to what your child says

    •   Rephrase what your child says adding more words or ideas

    •   Help your child make connections to past experiences and future events.

      • When did you  . . . ?

      •   How did you feel when. . . ?

      •   How would you feel if . . . ?

  • Guide your child so he will understand the story

    •  What words might he need to know?

    •  What does he need to know to understand the story?

Guidelines from: Saroj Ghoting,

What Books?

Many books are perfect for picture walks. Choose something you haven't read with your child before and make sure the pictures help tell the story. You might want to try Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig; Not a Box by Antoinette Portis; Snip Snap, What's That? by Mara Bergman; Too Many Toys by David Shannon; or I Went Walking by Sue Williams.

Read more about this great way to share a book and teach early literacy skills:

Taking a Picture Walk from Reading With Bean
"Reading With Young Children: A Picture Walk" from Teach Preschool

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