First level of Reading: Label

Label: provide a name for a character, object, or part of character and objects depicted in a picture

  • Use “Cloze Procedure” – This technique allows you to label the object on the page, then ask the child directly afterwards to fill in the blank.  “This is a duck,” “what is this?”, “It’s a ______.”  By labelling the object first, you are taking the pressure off the child to perform, as you have already given them the answer.  This helps them to feel successful. You can then congratulate them for their communication “great talking! Yes it’s a duck.”
  • Only if your child can label the object or character using the cloze procedure technique  with 100% accuracy, then can ask them the question “what is this?” because you are confident that they will not feel tested.

Second Level of Reading: Description

Once you child is able to participate in cloze procedure interactions (i.e., fill in the blank once you have given them the answer) and they can respond to simple object label questions, you can move on to higher level questions.  This is the point where you are asking the child to add information about the visible characteristics of a character or object, or the actions in which the character or object is involved.

  • Questions: “what colour is this?” “what is the caterpillar doing?” “which rose is this?”
  • You can use Cloze procedure prompting to get a description: “The caterpillar is ___________” which may prompt either a description of characteristics of the caterpillar or its actions.
  • Responses to questions/cloze procedures include adjectives (“red”), noun phrases (“the red rose”), verbs (“sitting”), verb phrases (“sitting behind a bush”), and simple sentences (“the caterpillar is sitting.”).

Third Level of Reading: Interpretations:

Once your child is able to answer simple /WH/ questions (e.g., “what colour is this,” “what is he doing?”), they can now start to provide information concerning a character’s underlying emotional states, motives, or plans.  They also provide information concerning temporal and cause-effect relationships among actions. 

  • Questions: “How does the man feel?” “why is the caterpillar sitting behind the bush?” “what will he do next?” and “what caused the bird to fly away?”
  • Cloze procedure: “The bird flew away because _______________”
  • Appropriate answers range from verb phrases (“go home”) to simple sentences ( “He is happy.”), to sentences involving multiple clauses and clausal connectors such as conjunctions and relative pronouns (“the cat is going into the garden because he wants to eat the bird.”)