Parents often ask us for ways to read for Preschool. Back when I was teaching French Immersion Kindergarten and grade one, I was introduced to a book called The Daily Five by Gail Boushy. The book is the basis for a literacy program that has become very popular as of late.
One aspect of this book that was a huge takeaway for me was the concept of multiple ways to read a book. According to Boushy, when reading you can 1- read the pictures, 2- read the words and 3- retell the story. Reading the pictures means simply talking about the book’s illustrations and what you imagine is happening in the story. Reading the words is what we all traditionally think of when reading a book. Retelling the story is putting the story into your own words after hearing it read, a pretty sophisticated skill.
This is a fantastic and different way to think about reading when any child is learning to read. However, when books are in a language that mom and dad don’t speak, it can be a godsend. This approach not only says you can read a book by just looking at and talking about the pictures but that this is beneficial for your child. Phew!
It can be stressful having a child in French Immersion if mom and dad don’t speak French. A bit of pressure is taken off when you can look at French reading in a few different ways and know you’re still meeting your child’s needs. Whenever our preschool families bring up the concern of French reading, I love to share the notion of multiple ways of reading to remind parents that there are lots of ways to support our little learners!