How to Show
Parents How to Have a "Book Talk"
of reading instruction is the “book talk.” A book
talk is basically a directed discussion which helps improve the
comprehension of a story. Even a non-reader, in fact, especially
a non-reader, can benefit from well-managed book talks, as the
discussions prompt critical thinking and offer different perspectives
on a story. Book talks also teach children how to think about
what they are reading.
A book talk requires questions to propel the discussion. However,
questions should be thought provoking and they should not limit
children’s understanding of a story. There are different
types of questions they can ask at different times. Here are a
for During the Reading
What do you think about the way the characters are acting?
Are they doing the right thing?
Are they doing the wrong thing? Why?
Why did something happen?
What do you think is going to happen next? Why?
Connections: Can you think of a time in your
life when the same thing that is happening in the story happened
to you? How did you feel? How do you think the character feels?
for After the Reading
What was your favorite part? Why?
Who was your favorite character? Why?
What do you think the story is really about?
Do you have any questions?
Is there anything you want to know?
In order to show parents how to have a beneficial book talk you
need to arrange for a parent meeting. As with all parent meetings,
arrangements should be made for translations. The translations
should take place immediately after each explanation.
people will be needed to conduct a demonstration. One person will
be the child and the other will be the parent. For the purposes
of an easy demonstration you should pick a relatively well-known
book, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
You should prepare a script in advance and the presenters should
rehearse what will be said. As you present the book talk, you
should periodically stop and explain what has occurred. For example,
you might explain why a particular question was asked and what
the child did to answer it (i.e., connected the story to a situation
in his/her own life).
parents how to have a well-managed book talk is an effective way
to improve literacy, not to mention a great way to involve parents
in their children’s education.