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Supporting your child's learning – Reading in K-6

Other parent information -
Supporting your child's learning -
Reading in K-6
Spelling in K-6
Talking and Listening in K-6
Writing in K-6


Learning to read is a complex process. For children to read well, they need to develop a range of reading strategies. Reading and writing are closely connected. When children learn to read and write, they learn about how language is used for different purposes and different audiences.

Stage 1 – In Kindergarten to Year 2 children learn gradually to:

  • understand that written text has meaning

  • read literary texts such as stories, and factual texts that give information such as procedures, eg recipes, instructions

  • recognise the letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make

  • use terms associated with books, such as author, illustrator, cover, title, page, contents, index, glossary

  • predict what a text will be about using such things as cover, title, illustrations and photos

  • read their own writing to others

  • blend sounds to produce a word, eg `d-o-g'

  • break words into syllables, eg teach/er

  • recognise words, full stops, capital letters and spaces between words

  • recognise a number of sight words

  • use appropriate vocal pitch, intonation and pace when reading aloud

  • talk about illustrations and diagrams, and how these add to the meaning in texts

  • read silently for short periods of time.

Stage 2 – In Years 3 to 4 children learn gradually to:

  • read and retell a variety of texts read and/or viewed

  • use knowledge of letter patterns to read new texts

  • break words into syllables

  • 'sound out' unfamiliar words

  • correct mistakes in reading by pausing, rereading and/or reading on

  • prepare, rehearse and read aloud stories, poems and scripted drama

  • use appropriate pause and emphasis when reading aloud

  • read and retell literary texts such as stories, folktales, traditional and contemporary fairytales

  • adjust their reading strategies for different texts, eg read for pleasure, scan texts to find information

  • make comparisons between the ways information is presented in TV documentaries, news bulletins, encyclopedias and newsletters

  • explore character and gender stereotyping in texts

  • discuss point of view in texts

  • make comparisons between what they are reading and their own personal experiences

  • read silently for an extended period of time.

Stage 3 – In Years 5 to 6 children learn gradually to:

  • read aloud using appropriate pitch, pause, emphasis and intonation

  • read and view a wide variety of texts

  • consider characters and events in texts from different characters' points of view

  • identify patterns in factual texts, eg instructions, editorials and essays

  • identify patterns in media texts such as newspaper articles, radio drama and soapies

  • explore how technology shapes media texts such as talk-back radio, television news and newspaper articles

  • discuss the role of advertising in shaping texts

  • use strategies such as skimming and scanning to find information

  • use self-correcting reading strategies such as rereading and reading on

  • use library technologies such as subject, keyword
    *author searches, data bases and CD-ROMs to locate resources

  • evaluate information from different sources for accuracy and appropriateness for intended audience

  • read silently for a sustained period of time.

Reading should be enjoyable for you and your child. If your child becomes distressed or loses interest when reading at home, take a break from reading and try again later.

All children, regardless of age, like to be read to. Make a special time whenever possible for reading with your child away from interruptions. You can help your child in reading when you:

  • show your child that you value reading by reading whenever you can

  • provide a variety of texts for your child to read to you, eg stories, comics, poems, plays, cartoons, reference books, magazines, children's recipebooks

  • point out words on street signs, packets and labels

  • encourage your child to predict what a book is about from the cover and illustrations

  • reread favourite books

  • talk about the different purposes for reading a picture book, a novel, a TV guide, a newspaper, a telephone directory, a recipe book, an encyclopedia

  • point out the different size and shape of words

  • point out the first sound of a word and encourage your child to think of other words that begin with the same sound

  • encourage your child to read books for enjoyment as well as for information

  • praise your child when they are reading, eg `well done - that was a difficult word'

  • encourage a positive attitude to books

  • encourage your child to talk about characters and events in texts

  • encourage your child to make sound effects for the characters and events

  • ask your child to think of possible beginnings and endings for stories read and heard

  • praise your child when they are reading

  • `sound out' difficult words and/or give clues to the meaning of difficult words

  • encourage your child to have a go at reading words that are unfamiliar

  • ask your child to read on past the unknown word to gain clues from the rest of the sentence

  • show your child how to find the meanings of unfamiliar words in dictionaries

  • encourage your child to watch films and videos of books they have read

  • talk about the ways in which a film version of a book compares with the print version

  • encourage your child to borrow books from the library.

If your child is having difficulty with reading, or not enjoying reading, ask your child's teacher for help.

For further information contact:

Board of Studies NSW
GPO Box 5300, Sydney NSW 2001
Tel: (02) 9367 8111 Fax: (02) 9262 6270

Resources available from the Board of Studies Sales Desk (02) 9367 8178


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