Zoobean Reading Guide

Before Reading

Preview and Predict

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?


Activating Prior Knowledge

Is the story based on a historical figure or event? Ask about your child's knowledge on that specific subject; where the event takes place, what the figure is known for, etc. If it is a biography, see if your child already knows what that means. If not, explain to him/her that a biography means this is a true, non-fiction, story about a real person. Ask your child who s/he would write a biography about. Why?

If the story is about a topic matter that your child is familiar with like the first day of school or friendship, ask about his/her experiences with that topic. Then ask if s/he predicts that the story will be similar to or different from what s/he described.

As You Read

Build 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. 


Monitor Comprehension

As you read, do simple comprehension checks by asking about character motivations and how different parts of the story are related. Also, help your child connect to the story by relating the main character's experiences to his/her own. Ask questions like, "What has happened in the story so far? Why do you think _______ did that? Have you ever _______? Did you like it? Why/why not? What do you think will happen next? Why is that?"

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...

Extending the Story

Act it out! Take the story and turn it into a production. You can create puppets and use a table and cloth to act out the story, or you may decide to turn your whole family room into a theater and dress the parts of different characters. Get creative in your set design and costuming, using a green sheet or towel for grass, socks on each ear for wagging dog ears, etc. It doesn't matter if you get the story just right, it's more about having fun and being active! Refer to the story if you need to, and create signs and flyers to promote your production! Then, gather an audience of family and friends and let the show begin!


STEM Extensions

If the story is about nature or has elements of nature mentioned in it, get outside and try some of these cool math and science activities. These activities combine nature and STEM, and encourage children to get out and learn with very few tools needed.