Children have a natural sense of curiosity. When they see or hear something that intrigues them, they naturally want to attempt to learn what it is and try to understand it. Children are always learning. As they have new experiences every day, there are always new questions to be answered or comments to be made. Parents and educators can prepare children for a read-aloud session by participating in a “picture walk.” Read on to learn what a “picture walk” is and how it can aid in literacy skills of young children.
What is a “Picture Walk?”
A “picture walk” is when parents or educators preview the cover and pictures in a storybook before reading it to children. By doing so, children become familiarized with the story prior to introducing text. “Picture walks” are best performed with books that feature a lot of interesting and detailed illustrations that are easily relatable to the text.
“Picture walks” help children develop their verbal and storytelling skills.
How is a “Picture Walk” performed?
“Picture walks” are performed in an orderly manner. Before beginning the “picture walk,” parents or teachers must explain to the children that they will look at the pictures together to see if they can figure out what the book is about. The steps of a “picture walk” include:
- Begin with the cover. Read the title and ask the children what they think the story will be about, simply based on what they see.
- Flip through the book. Do not read a single word. Ask the children questions about the pictures they see. Try to ask questions in which they have to make inferences based on the images on each page.
- Ask the right questions. Ask questions such as:
- Who is this?
- What is going on in the story?
- When is the story taking place?
- Where is the story taking place?
- Why does the character look excited, scared, tired, happy, etc.?
- How do you think the story will end?
After the “Picture Walk
Once the “picture walk” is completed, begin the read-aloud session. It is pertinent to include short discussion, while reading aloud, as short discussions can be beneficial because they help to reinforce the critical thinking that was sparked during the “picture walk.”
”Picture Walk” & Literacy Skills
“Picture walks” are powerful, vital tools in building literacy and vocabulary skills. Additionally, “picture walks” help to improve comprehension skills. Lectura Books offers an array of bilingual books with beautiful illustrations that can serve as ideal “picture walk” books. For more information on how to develop children’s literacy and vocabulary skills take a look around the site for tips and information.