Reading Picture Books is Important
Recently I came across fascinating evidence for why reading pictures books aloud to children is important for a child's development. As this Mind/Shift article explains, the most ideal reading situation for young readers (ages 3 to 5) is to have an adult read them a story with pictures. Researchers at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital who are studying how children learn to read discovered that when children were asked to listen to a story without pictures, their brains had to work too hard to understand the story. One of the researchers, Dr. John Hutton, said that there was "evidence the children were straining to understand" when listening to a story without pictures. Similarly, when children are watching an animated story their comprehension was low, because they were spending a lot of time trying to figure out what was happening in the story. The "just right" level of read-aloud is the traditional picture book, where children can see images, hear the words, and move at a pace that fits them. This style of reading helps them integrate the information they're receiving. I imagine this can be connected with students who struggle to read at any age. Seeking out texts with some illustrations or even an article with an image or two can help anchor the students into the subject. Check out the rest of the article for more details.