Children this age are just beginning to understand how to use their background knowledge and experiences (their schema) to make predictions. They are also learning to make connections between themselves and the stories they read. You can support this development with some of these fun books:
- The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Susan Stevens Crummel is a playful story for teaching predicting, as well as using it as a model of kindness. Point out Crummel’s use of space and design with the text to encourage divergent thinking.
- The Memory String by Eve Bunting is a heart-warming story that you can use to expand your child’s understanding of drawing on schema (using previous experiences and background knowledge) to make connections.
- The Gift by Gabriela Keselman is a great story to use to develop your child’s inference skills. Encourage your child to think logically, as well as divergently, when trying to decide what would make the best gift. Can your child justify her answers by explaining why?
- Shortcut by Donald Crews: Help your child infer the feelings of the characters throughout the story. Not only will this support the development of inference skills, but also emotional development and perspective taking as well. As always, see if your child can point to reasons why he has his opinions, based on the text or his own schema (background knowledge and experiences).
- Yesterday I Had the Blues by Jeron Ashford Frame: Discussions about the character’s emotions are a great place to begin conversations about inference and predicting, as most children can more easily access this level of perspective taking. Ask your child to draw on her background knowledge, the text clues, and the illustrations to understand, infer, and explain her reasonings. This is also a nice text to use to talk about the symbolic use of language.
- The Cheese by Margie Palatini: As you read the story together, notice the rat's changing emotions. See if your child can imitate the rat’s expressions to support his inference abilities, and his emotional understanding of the creature’s point-of-view. See if your child can predict the ending. Will the rat make a kind or self-centered choice?
- Holly’s Red Boots by Francessa Chessa: The story is slow enough and the surprises simple enough that this book lends itself well to supporting the development of prediction skills in young readers.
- At this site http://teacher.scholastic.com/commclub/index.htm you will find 54 nonfiction read-along books with optional audio. There are two levels, to allow the books to advance as your child’s reading advances. It’s a great way to enhance schema!