This weekend, we were fortunate to have our grandchildren sleepover. Three and five years old. As I was reading to the five-year-old, I noticed a new behaviour: she was echoing my voice as I was reading.
If it was a familiar book, she was quietly saying the words she knew along with me. If it was an unfamiliar book, her voice still echoed mine but not necessarily with words: perhaps a sing-songy murmur best describes it. She paused when I paused and she mimicked my changes in expression and intonation.
She asked for multiple rereadings of all books. As she became more familiar with the stories, her sing-songy murmur became more recognizable. I even overheard her reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to her brother shortly after we had read it numerous times.
Although not quite reading, she now recognizes that groups of letters form words. She can track simple sentences and she is also beginning to recognize a few written words. (The word red seems to be her favourite at the moment.)
As I’ve said many times before: kids have an intense desire to enter the world of the literate. Annabella is awfully close…