This year’s schooling may be somewhat up in the air. But, we can continue to foster positive reading skills using intentional and purposeful strategies through a process called ‘repetitive reading’.

Children love to have stories read to them over and over! There are many reasons for this – it may be that they love the story characters, the colors in the pictures, the flow of the words, or even just the joy of being close to you as the story is read. This is a good thing! Research shows that children are gaining and developing language and literacy skills through ‘repetitive reading’.

Each time the story is reread, (repetitive reading) children:

  • Identify or recognize new information or details from the story which leads to a deeper understanding and comprehension; each time the story is read, new information can be gleaned from the picture and/or the words; guided questioning can encourage hypothetical thinking and analysis
  • Develop new language and literacy skills; children become aware of how patterns of words or letters sound; recognize alphabet/letters, and familiar or site words; develop a larger usable vocabulary; and begin to understand the importance of the written word
  • Develop fluency in reading or telling story; children acquire skills in sequencing when they retell a story; they also gain an understanding of the concept of time and placement (first, second, third or first, next and last)
  • Build confidence by knowing the story; children gain in self-confidence through the ability to explain or tell a story, that they know what happens next; they also learn positive social skills through interacting with their peers in retelling the story

We know that emergent literacy begins at birth and continues to build through experiences that occur in infancy and early childhood.  Emergent or early literacy skills refer to the development of listening and language skills that are important for learning to read.  Reading to children, singing songs and reciting finger plays, doing puzzles, and scribbling are all examples of activities that support early literacy development.

Early childhood educators and care providers can use observations of the children to see how many skills they are developing or have mastered when rereading or retelling the story. Asking specific and open-ended questions can aid in determining what a child knows or comprehends.

The Early Learning Success curriculum offers several ‘repetitive reading’ Units of Study that focus on one book to support the developmental domains. ‘Repetitive Reading’ Units of Study focus on the same book to be read every day, building on the skills that are developed through this process.  Each Unit continues to incorporate activities that address the other developmental domains.  Visit the ELS Store at Book titles include:

‘Alphabet Under Construction’ by Denise Fleming

‘Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type’ by Doreen Cronin

‘Elmer’ (the Patchwork Elephant) by David McKee

‘Firefighter Frank’ by Monica Wellington

‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’ by Crockett Johnson

‘I Like Me’ by Nancy Carlson

‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ by Laura Joffe Numeroff

‘Marshmallow Kisses’ by Linda Crotta Brennan

‘Olivia Forms A Band’ by Ian Falconer

‘Planting A Rainbow’ by Lois Ehlert

‘Sneezy the Snowman’ by Maureen Wright

‘Stellaluna’ by Janell Cannon

‘Stone Soup’ by Ann McGovern

‘The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear’ by Audrey and Don Wood

‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak

Other web sites that support literacy development: