Raise your hand if your kids LOVE to listen to the same book over and over again. Now be honest— how do you feel about reading those books over and over again? There are some that my husband and I truly enjoy during these repeated readings, but some that (admittedly) disappear to high shelves for a while so we can take a break from them…
But did you know those repeated readings serve a purpose? Besides being comforting and familiar to children, hearing the same story over and over again can:
*Help them learn new vocabulary words more efficiently than if they heard the same words the same amount of time, but in different books
*Take comprehension of the story beyond rote retelling and details to deeper understanding, such as making predictions and analyses as well as understanding themes and messages — allowing children to connect the book to the world around them
*Increase children’s fluency (when hearing a read aloud) as well as confidence and enjoyment (when rereading the same story to themselves)
Our daughters’ preschool incorporates repeated readings into their weekly plans! They chose a book each week, and this story becomes the end-of-morning read-aloud every single day that week. The teachers find that all of the above happen, but they also find children naturally extend their interaction with the story themselves through drawing pictures of it, talking about it over snack, creating plays based on the plot, and retelling it during play. They choose these weekly stories intentionally, connecting themes and lessons to current events or seasons in the world, or to social learning goals they have for the children.
How do you feel about repeated readings? What stories are your children currently asking for over and over again?
*** Please read “Read It Again, Please! The Benefits of Repeated Read Alouds” from Children’s Literacy Initiative for more information and links to research articles on repeated readings.