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My Speech Universe: 5 Steps to Reading Books with Your Preschool Speech and Language Students

09 August 2023

5 Steps to Reading Books with Your Preschool Speech and Language Students

Teacher reading book with two preschoolers

Are you looking for ways to read with your preschool speech and language students while encouraging language growth and goals? Go beyond just reading TO your students and start reading WITH them!

Here are five steps you can take to read a book with your preschool students.

hands holding up the cover of a book
1.  Talk About the Cover

This is a great time to work on some predicting by asking, "Who do you think this book is about?" or, "What is this animal?" You'll love some of the responses.  The predicting skills used here are great.  You can help your students talk about who they think the characters will be, where will the story take place, and even, what might happen in the story.

2. Respond

This is an opportunity to expand on the child’s responses. Respond to the student’s answers by saying, “Yes, I think it’s about a dog too.” or, “That’s’ right, it’s a dog.” You could then expand the sentence by saying, “I see a dog in a tree.”  

Teacher reading book with preschool boy

3. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions allow the child to attend to details on the page. An example may be, “What is happening in this picture?” or “What do you see here?” It is amazing to see what the child will point out in the book. They have so many great ideas when talking about what they see.

Man pointing up with an idea

4. Think Aloud

Another great way to encourage talk about the book is to think aloud.  An example would be, “I wonder what the dog will find on the treasure hunt?” Some of the ideas will be very creative!

Teacher reading book with preschool girl

5. Continue Prompts Throughout the Book

Use prompts such as open-ended questions, wh-questions, completion prompts, and recall with the rest of the pages.

Most of all, have fun! You will be sure to instill a love of reading and books in your students if you are both having fun with it!

Want a copy of these tips? Here is a link for a FREE handout that you can save for yourself or share with parents:

If you are looking to have more fun with your preschool speech and language students check out this post for Playing with Preschoolers.

Have fun!


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