Reading Independent Books at Home

reading independent books at home

Reading independent books at home can be challenging for both parents and young readers. Today’s Teacher Tip Tuesday is all about how to read independent books at home. As I mentioned in my video, engagement is the most important thing about reading. While it is crucial for your child to practice reading appropriate books in order to grow as a reader, I think it is wonderful let him ‘read’ your 500 page medical encyclopedia he is excited about, too. We should never be telling little ones that they “can’t” read something.

If your child isn’t as excited to read at home, know that excitement is also contagious! Your child will often follow suit. If your child comments, “Wow! This book is easy! It’s boring!” I would suggest responding with something like, “I love how confident you are as a reader! You really can read those words with such ease. Let’s do some big thinking about it to show how how connected you are as a reader.”

no products

Literal Question Examples

Literal questions are the ones you can search the book and find the answers.

  • Who are the characters in the book?
  • What was the problem? How did the characters solve the problem?
  • Where does the story take place?
  • What happened first? Next? Last? (Retell the story/recall information)
  • How did the story end?
  • What part did you like best in the story?

Inferential/Evaluative Question Examples

These questions require a reader to use a combination of what they know and what they have read in the text to come to a conclusion. It is also important to note that many (if not most) young kiddos have no developed this way of thinking quite yet. Support and encourage them to think in this way as they are reading independent books at home, but also understand that it is widely developmental. Your child may decode texts and answer literal questions with ease but take years to develop these inferential thinking skills.

  • What do you think the author’s message is? (Life lesson)
  • Who do you agree with?
  • Would you be friends with this character? Why?
  • What can you tell from the picture that isn’t shown?
  • What do the character’s actions tell you about him?
  • Why did the character…
  • What makes you think that?
  • Find something that interests or surprises you and explain why you find it interesting.
  • Why do you think the author organized the text this way? (Informational texts)

As always, these Teacher Tips are my own opinions based on my experience as a first grade teacher.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.