Reading with Meaning at the ELL Parent Center

Reading with your family should be fun! I was invited to the ELL Parent Center in Skokie, Illinois, to share with their ELL (English Language Learners) students some practical and valuable ways to read with their family, to help make not only Sugar Bugs, but all books fun and meaningful! 

Using Sugar Bugs, we modeled how to read it with young children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and neighbors. Here are some meaningful tips that helped us on our reading adventure:

1. Read the Pictures

Sugar Bugs by Dr. Sam Weisz and Erica Weisz

     How is the Sugar Bugs’ home changing?

Sometimes, you can read the pictures to help tell the story. This promotes your kids’ actively thinking about what is going on, and stimulates a new type of dialogue.

2. Make Connections

Throughout the story, there are great places to make a personal connection from the story to your kids’ life. This often helps to reinforce a meaningful take-home message or lesson.

How do you think these Sugar Bugs are feeling?

How do you think these Sugar Bugs are feeling? How did you feel when you had to move to a new school/home/country?

3. Ask Questions

Sprinkling some of your own open-ended questions (not just “yes” or “no” questions!) throughout the book helps keep your kids engaged, and on the edge of their seat. Have fun making predictions, finding similarities and differences, and making connections.

Where do you keep your toothbrush? How does your toothbrush look different than this one?

Where do you keep your toothbrush? How does your toothbrush look different than this one?

4. Find New Vocabulary

Books that introduce new, and sometimes challenging, vocabulary, opens up the world to us and our kids! Take this as a teachable moment to discover what a word means. Use your resources (dictionary, read the pictures and word clues) to find it out together.

Happy Reading! 

 

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