Reading With Our Kids

Written by Karen Gibbs

I recently learned some simple techniques, often used in schools, to make reading with kids more interesting and spark great discussions. It’s amazing how you can draw kids out and teach them to look deeper into the chapter with these simple ideas. Ultimately, they will find learning much easier, gain independence in learning and have more fun, so that’s always a plus!

1. Thinking Routine, “See Think Wonder”
This method can be used both with a picture book and with text.
See… Get the kids to state what they “saw” in the chapter. It’s important to make sure they focus just on the facts that they see, try not to go into the think phase yet.
Think… Ask the kids what they “think” is happening in the chapter. Encourage them to back up their interpretations with reasons. eg. “What makes you say that?”
Wonder… What does this chapter make your kids “wonder” about? Encourage them to ask all kinds of questions they would like to know about. This technique works best if you focus on one particular area of the chapter at a time.

2. Thinking Routine, 3-2-1-R-I-Q
This method encourages kids to reflect on what they’ve read and also helps them to be accountable for their own learning. Use this method after discussion on a reading.
3 Recall-items or facts from the reading that they can recall
2 Insights-or anything new they have learned from the reading. Encourage them to start their response with “I have learned”
1 Question- that they may have, either relating directly to the content of the chapter OR how they might apply the lessons in their life.

3. Reflection
This is a very important skill that adults often take for granted. Reflection stems are sentence starters that give kids the impetus to elaborate on their learning. Reflection can be done by looking back, but we should also reflect forward. eg.
Looking back….
I enjoyed this reading because..
One thing I didn’t think of was..
What I knew before this was..
Reading this made me wonder about..
Looking forward…
This has inspired me to..
The importance of understanding this is..
From this reading I can see one way I could improve my life…
One thing I’d like to learn more about is ..

Information from The Bible School Bulletin
September 2015



About the author

Karen Gibbs

Karen lives in Queensland, Australia and lives her life motivating and inspiring others through her writings and blog posts. She takes great pleasure in writing, creating and designing these posts each day.
Karen published her first book, Scrapbook Creations, in 2002 and won the Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business award for her business of the same name. After a lengthy break due to family illness Karen is now putting her writing and creative skills into her passion of making a difference in the lives of others. Karen gains much inspiration from lessons learned while spending time outdoors with her horse JayLuka.
You can follow Karen’s writings at
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