Tips for "Dotty"

As You Read:

When all of the other children no longer have their imaginary friends and Ida still has her's, she begins to get teased by the other students. Talk to your child about how Ida feels during this time in the story and if your child has ever felt teased or hurt because of something they like. Ask questions like "Why are they teasing Ida? Have you ever been teased? What did you do when that happened? What do you think Ida will do?"


Extending the Story:

Ask your child to describe an imaginary friend s/he would like to have. Would it be an animal, a person, or another creature altogether? Get out crayons and paper (or get fancy with more crafts), and create this friend! You can help guide your child, but give him/her space to create. To encourage this, you can draw alongside your child, describing what you do as you go, as a source of inspiration.

Other Useful Tips

Before You Begin Reading, Preview the Story and Discuss

Take a moment to explore the cover and illustrations and give your child a chance to make observations and predictions before beginning the read-through. Throughout this guide, there are several questions and prompts that you can use as you read, so feel free to spread them out across multiple readings. Use prompts and questions like:

  • What is happening on the cover?

  • What do you think the story will be about based on the title and the cover?

  • {Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?


As You Read, Explore New Vocabulary

Whether you're reading the story or your child is reading it him/herself, take time to stop whenever s/he comes across a new word. Read the word slowly several times as you underline the word with your finger. Then, ask your child what s/he thinks the word might mean. Instruct him/her to use the words and illustrations surrounding it to try and glean the meaning. Work together to discover the word's meaning, and then try to integrate it into your daily conversation to help reinforce these new vocabulary words. 


After Reading, Make Connections

To ensure comprehension, ask your child about what happened in the book. Who were the main characters, and where were the primary settings? What happened and why did those things happen in the story? Ask your child the following questions to further explore his/her understanding of the book:

  • Did you like that story? What was your favorite part? Why?

  • What lesson do you think the main character(s) learned?

  • What does {vocabulary word} mean?

  • {Discuss alternatives to the storyline} What would have happened if...?

  • I wonder why...