Narrative skill is the ability to describe things and events and tell stories. Being able to talk about and explain what happens in a story helps a child understand the meaning of what he or she is reading. Good narrative skills lead to good reading comprehension.
This is the most difficult of all the early literacy skills. With babies, this skill will obviously need to be more parent centered. Below are some tips to help develop this skill in your child.
- Explain a story you just read in your own words.
- Ask your baby a question and then answer it, holding your own personal conversation that your baby witnesses.
- At later stages, make sure your child has many opportunities to talk to you rather than just listen to you talk.
- Read wordless books and ask your child to tell you what's happening.
- Read question and answer books, letting your child respond with their own answer between pages.
- Ask your child to tell you about his or her day.
- Ask follow-up questions to help your child add details.
- Pick one of your child's favorite books and ask your child to tell you the story.
- Read one of your child's favorite stories, stopping at certain points to ask your child what happens next.
- Play fortunately/unfortunately. For example: "Fortunately, Anna found exactly what she was looking for at the store! But unfortunately, she didn't have enough money to buy it."
Check out this list of suggested books for developing narrative skills.