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In our reading it is important to look closely at the pictures and for the children to discuss what they think is happening. This provides opportunities for children to extend their thinking and develop their communication and language. At first we focus on picture books to encourage lots of discussion and to develop vocabulary and understanding further.

Some possible questions to ask could be...

  • I wonder what is happening in the picture?
  • I wonder what could happen next?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What do they look like?
  • I wonder how are they feeling?
  • How do you know...?
  • We  also encourage the children to look at the front cover and predict what they think the story is about, what could happen in this story?
  • What is the setting?
  • What might happen next?


Once the children have begun to build up their knowledge of phonemes (the sound letters make) they can begin to segment and blend these phonemes. 

Segmenting is saying each phoneme (sounds) in turn.

Blending is putting the phonemes (sounds) together to read the word.

It is important at this stage that reading still makes sense, therefore lots of discussion is important about the words that have been read and linking the words to the pictures.

The children will then begin to be able to read simple sentences and continue to make progress. Understanding of what is being read is crucial to developing them as readers. Expression also becomes important as they begin to think about what is happening or who is talking.


Keep reading those story books together - Children who are read to become better readers!!