Storytime Tips and Tricks
Sharing Picture Books with Children

As a bear, I know there are many ways to help bears and children learn language.  It isn't had because young brains are "wired" to develop language skills.  Here's what I do when I share books with baby bears.  I am sure these tips will work with children too!

Tell a bear cubs and children about the pictures in a book using your own words. Point to the pictures as you describe them (enriched vocabularly, narrative skills).

When you read the book to a bear cub or child, point to the words as you read. This demonstrates that  that you are saying the words on the page and not just talking about the pictures.  When a bear cub or child is ready, talk about the letters in the title and important words (print awareness, letter knowledge).

After a child has become familiar with the rhyme, when you read it, stop before the last word on the page and let the child say the last word (phonetic awareness, enriched vocabulary)

Encourage the child to tell YOU about the pictures. This will help the child to learn new words (narrative skills). Pick out something in the picture that you want the child to notice. Ask the child, “Where’s the _____?” and wait for the child to point to it.

If the child points correctly; say, “Yes! That’s the _____!” Then extend the converstation by saying something else about the object in the picture, like, “Yes! That’s the bear. The bear is eating honey.

When you can, show the child a real example of things in the pictures (enriched vocabulary, narrative skills. If the child points to something else; say, “That’s the _____” and tell the child what it is. Then say, “Here’s the _______” and point to the thing you wanted the child to notice.

After a little while you share the book with the child, ask again to see if the bear cub or child has remembered, “Where’s the ______?”

Be sure to have FUN!  If a bear cub or child isn't ready to enjoy a story time or you get interupted, put the book down.  You can always pick it up and try again later.  Find special moments to make storytime special (print motivation).