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R and R: Repetition and Rhyme

language awareness 85Repetition makes books predictable, and young readers love knowing what will happen.

What you need:
Books with repeated phrases
Short rhyming poems

Book suggestions:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

What to do:

1. Pick a story with repeated phrases or a poem you and your child like. For example, read:
Wolf Voice: Little pig, little pig, let me come in.
Little Pig: Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.
Wolf Voice: Then I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in!

2. After the wolf has blown down the first pig's house, your child will soon join in with the refrain.

3. Read slowly, and with a smile or a nod, let your children know you appreciate their participation.

4. As children grow more familiar with the story, pause and give them the chance to "fill in the blanks."

5. Encourage your children to pretend to read, especially books that contain repetition and rhyme. Most children who enjoy reading will eventually memorize all or part of a book and imitate your reading.

When youngsters anticipate what's coming next in a story or poem, they have a sense of mastery over books. When children feel power, they have courage to try. Pretending to read is an important step in the process of learning to read.

Source: Helping Your Child Learn to Read, National Parent Information Network

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