In early September, my first grader sat on her bed thumbing through a picture book that was way above her reading level. “I’m reading this book all by myself, mommy! I’m reading the pictures. My teacher says that’s one way to read a book.”
In the first week of school, she had learned that there are three ways to read a book: reading the pictures, reading the words, and retelling the story.
Gail Boushey is a literacy expert and co-author of The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades, the book that coined the idea of “three ways to read a book.” This concept builds on extensive research about how young children learn to read.
I recently spoke with Boushey, and she told me that reading isn’t just about sounding out words. It’s also about understanding the story and drawing connections between the story and your life or the world around you. Strong readers find meaning in the text.