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Early Literacy for Families

Prepare your child for success in reading, school and life with these resources from San Antonio Public Library's early literacy program.

  What are Narrative Skills?

Narrative skills is being able to describe things and events and tell stories. Talking with children helps them develop comprehension skills. Being able to tell or retell a story helps children understand what they read.
Birth to two:
  • Talk to your child about what you are doing.
  • Tell your child stories.
  • Encourage your toddler to tell you about things. Listen patiently and ask questions.
  • Read favorite books again and again.
Two- and three-year-olds, all of the above plus:
  • Ask your child to tell you about something that happened today.
  • Read books together. Stories help children understand that things happen in order first, next, last.
  • Read a book that you have read before. Switch what you do - you be the listener and let your child tell you the story.
Four- and five-year-olds, all of the above plus:
  • Listen to your child carefully when he talks.
  • Ask your child to tell you about a picture he drew.
  • Ask "what" questions. Point to a picture and say, "What's that?" or "What is happening here?"
  • Add to what your child says. If your child says, "big truck" then you say, "Yes, a big red fire truck."
  • Ask open-ended questions like, "What do you think is happening in this picture?"
  • Help your child relate what is happening in the story to her own experience, for exmple, "What happened when we went on a picnic?"

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