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 is a grief and loss mentor residing in Queensland, Australia. She spends her time motivating and inspiring others through her writings and blog posts which she takes great pleasure in creating and designing 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. In 2015 Karen was a contributing author to the #1 best seller "365 Ways to Connect with your Soul." Karen is currently writing a book entitled "Stop The Downward Spiral" - An essential guide to healing and is "Everything the depressed person in your life needs you to know." She continues to put her writing and creative skills into her passion of making a difference in the lives of others and gains inspiration while outdoors with her horse Romey....
You can follow Karen’s writings at
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