Voice and Perspective Taking: Voice is how a writer’s personality comes across in their writing. Between 8-10 years old, children are learning how to take another’s perspective and thus this is the perfect time to support the development of their own voice in writing by being able to identify others’ in their books and stories. Some good books to read with your child to help develop their understanding of voice:
- Amelia’s Notebook (and others in the series) by Marissa Moss: Written from the perspective of a 9-year-old girl, see if your child can relate to the voice/storytelling (way of presenting information). Click here for an online version.
- Too Many Toys by David Shannon. Spencer, the main character in this book, has too many toys. Have your child imagine they are Spencer’s principal or parent. Can he take on Spencer’s “voice?” What would Spencer say and how would he say it?
- Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison. Ask your child what the butterfly in the story might have been thinking.
- The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: playful book that uses the word OK and turns it in to many different things. Visual treat in perspective taking!
Predicting and Inference: Around third grade, children develop the ability to take another’s point of view and to consider a person’s intent. They are able to collect cues and use schema (foundation knowledge) to make predictions and draw inferences. Try some of the following books to foster these skills in your child:
- Over the River: A Turkey's Tale by Derek Anderson: Can your child describe how the turkey feels as the book progresses?
- Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg: Use the details of the story to support inference making: When the ants see a crystal, what clues do you have to make predictions/inferences?
- Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears? by Verna Aardema is a story you can use to discuss both cause & effect, as well as inference.
- Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen: Invite your child to infer characters’ motivations and feelings, and use these inferences to predict what will happen next.
- Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Facile: Use this humorous story to not only infer, but also act out the actions, building on your child’s schema.
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jan Brett: Be sure to watch the storyline unfolding on the borders. Invite your child to act out the emotions of the mice, have your child predict each Bear’s favorite things by looking at the colors and motifs throughout, and use the cues on the pages to predict what will happen next.
- Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J Sobol: Mini mysteries like these are wonderful for helping your child pay attention to detail, draw on foundation knowledge, and make inferences!