Joint Book Reading: With Parent

  • Situation

    My daughter has delayed language skills and I am looking for a fun language activity that we can do at home in the evenings. She is at school all day so by the time she gets home, she is pretty exhausted and really doesn’t want to do more work!

  • Summary

    Engaging in shared reading activities with children is a fun and easily accessible activity that does not require a lot of preparation time or money. Books can be obtained from the school or local library. Choosing an appropriate book and reading it with a child using language strategies, can facilitate joint attention (the process of sharing an experience of observing by following gaze or pointing gestures) and language by allowing repetition and practice of phrases and concepts in the text. It is a nice activity that can be incorporated into your nightly routine at home.

  • Definition

    Use of storybook reading to stimulate language and establish joint attention.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 0-2, 3-5, 6-10
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    Ability to sit for a story

  • Process

    1. Choose books that will capture your child’s interest. Those with colorful illustrations are best.

    2. Build in joint reading time each day/night (or several times) and read the story so that your child begins to memorize certain phrases or events in the story.

    3. Use gestures to support the language when appropriate and be “playful” throughout reading the book.

    4. Encourage your child to turn the page when you pause and talk about what might happen next if she can. You can also model predicting events in a story by a “think aloud” which is basically verbalizing what you are thinking for example, “Wow, I bet Corduroy is going to go look for his lost button!”

    5. As your child begins to know the story well, pause at certain points within the text to allow your child to “fill in” what comes next. If she does not add anything after a few seconds, prompt the word, phrase or sentence.

    6. Pause at different places within the text to highlight different language structures and prompt progressively longer utterances.


    Adapted from: Kirchner, D. (1991). Reciprocal book reading. A discourse based intervention strategy for the child with atypical language development. Pragmatics of language: Clinical practice issues. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group

  • Documents and Related Resources



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