All in a day’s work-Reading for meaning with toddlers.

April 22, 2016
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All in a day’s work is book of the week this week and I have chosen it to focus on comprehension. It’s never too early to begin comprehension with your child- it is an important skill and you can start when they are toddlers-as long as you use books with simple text and short sentences.

All in a day’s work is great for this. Carter loves Thomas so I had his attention and focus straight away and with it’s short, sharp sentences it wasn’t information overload for him. On each page it asks the reader a question and then provides the answer. This is perfect for a literal comprehension focus. Literal comprehension means that the answer is directly stated in the text.

Eg: ‘Some passengers need to get to town, which engine do you think can help? Yes Thomas’s coaches are perfect for delivering passengers.’

After reading this page, many literal comprehension questions can be asked. Examples of these questions include:

  • Which train is helping the passengers?
  • Where do the passengers need to go?
  • How is Thomas helping the passengers?

The first few times we did this, I helped Carter answer the questions. We re-read the text to find the answers and there was lots of discussion using the pictures as a guide.

It’s important to ask the questions at the end of each page, rather than the end of the book allowing your child to answer while the sentences are still fresh in their memory.

By teaching reading for meaning, toddlers will begin to understand that not only do we read for enjoyment but we also gather information from a text. It’s great for their language development too!


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