Emergent Reading Goals

  • Emergent Books or Star Books are stories that your children are very familiar with. We read one Star Book over and over again for an entire week. By doing this the children have the opportunity to become very familiar with these stories. The children are NOT supposed to read the words in these stories but rather use the pictures to help them tell the story. At first your children will point to the picture and say one or two things about the page, by the end of this unit the goal is for your child to be "reading" these stories through the pictures. In other words, your children should eventually be able to use the pictures to help tell the story as if they were reading it. It may appear as if your child has "memorized" the story, but the key is for them to be using a story telling voice, making the characters speak, and matching what part of the story they are saying with what is on each page. 

    Below you will find the skills that your child should be working on while reading these books. The skills are listed in order from simplest to more complex. As your child becomes more comfortable with their Star Books they should be able to move throughout most of the skills listed below. Remember, the beginning of reading is NOT the actual reading of text but rather the understanding that pictures tell a story. Do not push your children to move from one set of skills to the next but rather model and encourage them to continue reading the best that they can. ALL children will read at their own pace!


    1. Point to the pictures and say what they are:
      • Watch how I point to the pictures and say what I see.
      • What do you see in the picture?
    2. Point to the pictures and say what is happening:
      • Watch how I say what is happening.
      • What is happening on this page (in the picture)?
    3. Tell what you think the character is saying: 
      • Let me show you how I look at the picture and tell what the character is saying.
      • What are the characters saying?
    4. Use the pictures to tell a story:
      • Watch how I look closely at the pictures and tell a story.
      • Can you tell me the story?
      • What's happening now?
      • Keep going. Then what happens?
    5. Tell the story with details (setting, character names, dialogue):
      • Watch how I tell the story and include where the characters are and what they are saying.
      • Tell the story, remember to tell me:
        • where the characters are,
        • what the characters are saying,
        • the character names.
    6. Move your finger along the words as they tell the story (they will not be reading the actual words):
      • Watch how I move my finger under the words as I tell the story.
      • Now you try.
    7. Look for words you know:
      • Let me show you how I look for words I know.
      • Can you find any words you know? Try using them.
    8. Retell the important parts of the story:
      • Let's think about the title and look back through the pages to help us think about what happened in the story.
      • What happened in the story?
      • What was the book about?
    9. Read the story using the pictures and some of the words:
      • Watch how I look at the pictures and some words I know to read the story.
      • Let's try to use the words from the story.
      • Let's use the pictures to help us.