Helping Your Child Read

  • What can you do when you don't know a word?


    Use Picture Clues
    *Look at the picture.
    *Are there people, objects, or actions in the picture that might make sense in the sentence?

    Stretch out the Word
    *Say each letter-sound out loud, starting with the first sound.
    *Blend the sounds together and try to say the word. Does the word make sense in the sentence?

    Look for Chunks in the Word
    *Look for familiar letter chunks. They may be sound/symbols, prefixes, suffixes, endings, whole words, or base words. 
    *Read each chunk by itself. Then blend the chunks together and sound out the word. Does it make sense in the sentence?

    Connect to a Word You Know
    *Think of a word that looks like the unfamiliar word. 
    *Compare the familiar word to the unfamiliar word. Is the familiar word a chunk or form of the unfamiliar word?
    *Use the known word in the sentence to see if it makes sense. If so, the meanings of the two words are close enough for understanding. 

    Reread the Sentence
    *Read the sentence again.
    *Think about what word might make sense in the sentence. Try the word and see if it makes sense.

    Keep Reading
    *Read past the unfamiliar word and look for clues.
    *If the word is repeated, compare the second sentence to the first one. What word might make sense in both?

    Use Prior Knowledge
    *Think about what you know about the subject of the book, paragraph, or sentence.
    *Do you know anything that might make sense in the sentence?