Does it sound right?
Your child is reading along and gets one of the words wrong. It doesn’t fit. It’s the wrong part of speech. Do you ask him to try again and sound it out? No. You can teach him something more useful. You can ask: Does that sound right? Do we talk that way?
This is the reading strategy I discussed in a previous post. Your child will be using her knowledge of her oral language, of how language “works” to figure out a word while reading a story.
The word she ultimately choses has to, not only make sense given what the story is about, but it also must sound right. As adults, we do this without thinking when we’re reading, but when a child is learning to read, it must be taught.
How do you do that? Basically, you’ll be asking your child if her choice of word sounds right? Is that how we talk? Can we say it like that?
To demonstrate how to teach the “Does it sound right?” strategy, I will be using one of my Super Hammy – My First Reading Series books, the chilly Super Hammy Makes a Snowman.
Let’s say your child begins reading this sentence (pointing under each word) and says: “Super Hammy is make a snowman.” How do you respond? This is the scenario:
Your child reading: “Super Hammy is make a snowman.”
You: “Super Hammy is make a snowman? Does that sound right? Do we say Super Hammy is make a snowman, or do we say Super Hammy is making a snowman?”
Child: “Super Hammy is making a snowman.”
You: “Right. Now read it again with your finger. Did that sound right?”
Let’s look at another example. On page 3, your child reads: “The nose is on the snowman.”
But then, on page 5, your child says “is” instead of “are. How do you respond? This is the scenario:
You: “Look at the picture. What is on the snowman?”
Your child: “The eyes.”
You: “Read it with your finger. The…”
Your child reading: “The eyes is on the snowman.”
You: “Does that sound right? The eyes is on the snowman? Do we say it like that?”
Your child: “No. The eyes are on the snowman.”
You: “Right. Read it with your finger.”
Your child reading: “The eyes are on the snowman.”
Don’t forget to use the “Does it make sense?” strategy, too. Remember “Does it make sense?” is the most powerful reading strategy. You could say: Does it sound right? Yes. Does it make sense, too? Yes. On we go!
“We all can dance when we find music that we love.”
(Giles Andrege, Giraffes Can’t Dance)