This month’s theme is Farms and I am really excited to share our focus text!
Our preschoolers will be reading Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. This is a beautiful book that introduces your Lil’ to all the different animals on the farm: mini pigs, horses, cows, sheep, kittens, puppies, and chickens. Your Lil’ will learn how all these different animals play and come together to live in the big red barn.
In this post, I am going to guide you through different reading strategies you should be using with your child when you read with them.

Big Red Barn

Read for Enjoyment (1st week)
Remember, the first time you read a book to a child should always be for fun and enjoyment, so as you read these books to your Lil’, be sure that you’re doing so simply to enjoy the beauty of the story.  This will help ensure that your child learns to love reading.
Recalling Details (2nd week)
Have you ever had to go back and re-read the text because despite the fact that you know you read it you cannot repeat a single word of what you just read? Recalling details is a comprehension skill that tests just that; it is a test to see if you actually understood what you just read.
So how do we do this with our Lil’s?
The best way is to ask questions after reading a few pages and to model the process for them. Here are a few examples of recalling detail questions we used when reading Big Red Barn.
  •  What is the little pig doing?
  • What animals are making funny noises?
  • Look at the egg under the chicken.
  • How many puppies are there?
  • Where do all the animals live?
  • The animals sleep in the barn at night.
Concepts About Print (3rd week)
We’re also going to focus on the directionality of a book, meaning that we turn the pages of a book from right to left.
When you’re reading to your Lil’, encourage them to turn the pages of the book for you. This will help teach them that the pages go from right to left instead of going in whatever order they feel.
If your Lil’ is anything like mine, they will get really excited about turning the pages, so to avoid ripping books I often slide my finger behind the page that I’m reading which allows me to hold back all the other pages while Rea turns the page that we just finished. I do this little slide as soon as I finish the text on that page and that is her silent cue that it is time to turn the page.
Making Connections (4th week)
When I taught fourth grade, making connections to a text was often the most difficult comprehension strategy for my students, which is strange because, as I have said before, the connections we make to text are the reason we love reading. So for that reason we need to continually model making connections to text with our children.

Here are some of the connections we made while reading Big Red Barn:

  • Look, there is a barn like the one we built out of popsicle sticks
  • The mice are in the corn like the corn maze at the pumpkin patch
  • Look at the dogs just like Fancy and Trevor
  • The animals are sleeping just like we sleep at nap and bedtime

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