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. “Sketch It” 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. I like a combination of both, sometimes asking my children to draw a certain scene or character from one story, then asking them to create their own “illustration” for the next. Children can draw about something they read in the story, or draw their own version of what happened afterward. “Connection” 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.