Leading storytime using a new approach is like herding cats. But our experience was enlightening, invaluable, and fun! My son and I now use Whole Book Approach techniques whenever we cuddle up and read a picture book, just the two of us, which works perfectly.
Megan Dowd Lambert’s practical guide Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See gets kids to “think with their eyes.”
Go-to questions for EVERY page
Here are Megan’s standard questions, which can be asked throughout your readings:
- What’s going on in this picture?
- What do you see that makes you say that?
- What more can we find?
Questions I used to get the kids warmed up
- What’s the story going to be about?
- Who can you see?
- What does the choice of colours say to you?
- Where’s the back of the bus?
First double-page spread
- What can you tell me about the buildings?
- How much of the page does the picture take up?
- Who is the book dedicated to?
Second double-page spread
- Is the view the same as before?
- What do you think freedom smells like?
What to do when a kid says “Can’t you just reeeead the book?!”
Megan’s ‘standard response’ is “We are reading the book. We’re reading the pictures, too.”
I had to say this a couple of times and tried really hard not to use my preachy teacher voice! It worked.
Megan also has a range of strategies for crowd control, which includes what to do if you have a very quiet group, talkative children who dominate, or kids who are easily distracted.
If you want to shake up storytime FOREVER, Megan’s book is an invaluable resource.
I’d love to hear what your kids came up with.