Creating Little Storytellers: The Art of Dialogic Reading for Preschoolers

Reading to preschoolers is like planting a seed, the more you do it, the more it grows. But what if we told you that the way you read is just as important as how often you read? Enter Dialogic Reading, a revolutionary method developed by the Stony Brook Reading and Language Project, where the adult becomes the listener, the questioner, and the audience for the child, turning them into the teller of the story. Because let's face it, you can't learn to play the piano by just listening to someone else play, and the same goes for reading. The PEER sequence is the fundamental technique in Dialogic Reading, where the adult:

  • Prompts the child to say something about the book
  • Evaluates the child's response
  • Expands the child's response by rephrasing and adding information
  • Repeats the prompt to ensure learning has taken place. Imagine reading a book with your child and pointing to a fire truck, asking "What's this?" and having them respond with "truck". The adult can then follow up with "That's right, it's a red fire truck, can you say fire truck?"

Reading should be a two-way conversation, not a one-way lecture. So, leave more to the child and watch their love for reading and learning soar.