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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy

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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy. Improving Latino Children’s Literacy. Read, Read, Read.

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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy

Read, Read, Read

The number one thing you can do to help your child become a great reader is to read to him for 20 minutes a day. Typically a bedtime ritual, there’s no law against reading at any other time! And those 20 minutes don’t have to take place all in one sitting. The goal is to read for a total of 20 minutes a day. This experience helps them to master language development and builds their listening skills. It also increases their attention span and teaches them to focus for long blocks of time.

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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy

Talk About The Cover

When you first sit down with a book, look at the cover together and discuss the picture (almost all children’s books have an illustrated cover). Ask your child what she thinks the book is going to be about. Then open it up and read to see if she was right!

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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy

Use Your Body

  • When you read, do it with expression. Use different voices (and even accents!) when you read the words of different characters. Vary your pitch to keep the story engaging. As you read, be sure to point to each word. Your child will soon learn that sentences begin with a capital and are read from left to right. He will even start to recognize frequently used words.
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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy

Ask Questions

Take time to pause while you are reading the story to ask your child questions about the story line. Why do you think [the character] did that? What did [the character] mean when he/she said…? What do you think is going to happen next? All of these are good questions that challenge your child to think about the story as a whole and not just the words being read. Also, when you finish the book, ask your child questions about things that happened in the story. Who were the characters in the story? What happened first? Last? Did the character have a problem? How did he/she solve it? Where did the story take place? All of these questions teach your child about the different parts of a story, such as the setting, the characters, the conflict, and the resolution.

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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy

“Sketch It”


After reading a story, ask your child if they’ve ever experienced a similar situation, met a similar character, etc., in their own lives and encourage them to tell you about it. By relating the story to their own lives, children develop greater interest and are more likely to think about the elements of the tale.

After you’ve read the story, give your child some paper and crayons/markers and ask her to draw some pictures to go with the story. You can be specific and ask children to draw something in particular, or leave it up to the child to use their imagination. Ask you children to draw a certain scene or character from one story or create their own “illustration.”

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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy

Write It Out

For older children, you can ask them to write up a description of the story (in a written version of Narration), or write a continuation of the story in their own words. The goal of this exercise is to get them to enjoy writing, so don’t critique their spelling or grammar. Instead, praise them for their hard work.

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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy


This technique is a favorite among Classical Education instructors. It really develops reading comprehension and simply involves asking the child to tell you the story in their own words after they’ve heard it. You can prompt them with specific questions, if they are unclear. But don’t expect a long, word-for-word description. Keep it short and simple.

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Improving Latino Children’s Literacy

By using these techniques with your beginning readers, you can help them grow into confident, skillful ones. As parents, we have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to encourage and develop our children’s literacy skills.

bookMami Improving Latino Children’s Literacy by Monica Olivera | 03/5/2012