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Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Strategy 1: Engage children in multiple re-readings of stories

What to Do

  • Allow the child to interact independently with favorite books and reading materials (e.g. make sure they are easily accessible at home and in the classroom, schedule regular “reading time”)
  • Have a familiar person read and re-read familiar/favorite stories often
  • Pause to allow the child to participate and interact when reading together
  • In a book that has a recurring phrase, let the child “read” it (using voice, sign, movement and/or a communication device)
  • Increase participation by having the child turn pages (adapted if needed) or by advancing slides in a powerpoint book
  • Use variation in re-readings (e.g. sing the stories, add rhythm, take turns reading pages, read a phrase and let the child repeat it)
  • Pair words and phrases from the story with the child’s page-turning, movement, vocalizations, signs and/or rhythm activities   
  • Expect increased participation after several readings; then expect even more from the child as re-readings continue

Things to Consider

  • Having some control over what to read increases motivation and engagement. Are you providing opportunities for the child to select what to read?
  • Are you using songs, rhymes, poems and/or rap as well as stories found in books?
  • Are you encouraging movement as a way to increase participation?
  • As the child becomes familiar with the story, are you helping make connections to words and phrases from the story?  
  • Are you collecting data on the child’s favorite ways to “read” and “re-read”?
  • Are you increasing the child’s familiarity with a book or story by talking about it (e.g. naming characters, summarizing, predicting)?

Always Ask Yourself