Listening is a treasured skill and can often be a forgotten skill if not practiced. Teaching children to listen and creating times when active listening happens can really help a reader’s mind grow.
Children first learn how to communicate by listening. They hear their mother’s voice and how the inflection goes up when she’s happy. They hear Daddy sing them a song to sleep. A friend calls their name on the playground. Grandma tells them a story about when she was younger. All of these experiences help children to listen.
As children get older, when books and stories are told or read to them they hear phrasing modeled: “Once upon a time, a young girl…” They hear the pause after the word time. In a scary story, they notice when the reader says “A big, black bat swooped down from the trees.”- emphasizing the word swooped. Listening to new stories or even the same story over and over again will enrich a reader’s vocabulary, paint pictures in their mind of places they’ve only dreamt of going, and ultimately encourage a love of reading.