Practicing Dialogic Reading

There are two acronyms that help guide parents and caregivers when practicing dailogic reading with young children. They are PEER and CROWD.

  • P
    Prompt the child to say something about the book. For children under two this may be just a child pointing at an object but this action should be positively reinforced with statements such "oh, that's a flower.". Later at the age of 2 to 4 a child may be asked "What's this book about?" and a response might be "cats" as the child's language and comprehension skills develops they will give a more detailed response.
  • E
    Evaluate the response. This is important when reading with very young children because it helps guide them in their understanding of the world. When a child points to a picture of a pig and says "dog" an adult can say "no that's a pig. Look at it's has a curly tail." The evaluation gives the child feedback.
  • E
    Extend the response. To extend the response an adult may develop the detail of a child's response. If a Child responded to a prompt about an image of elephant, saying that it was an elephant, an adult might extend the response by demonstrating an elephant noise.
  • R
    Repeat. It is important to review what has been read. With very young children this might mean going back to pictures in the book and asking questions about what things are or what noises do things make. repeating also means re-reading. Children love to read their favorite books again and again and this is important for them as they develop their language and comprehension skills.

The Crowd acronym is about the kinds of questions and prompts that an adult can give a child to encourage grater interaction with a text.
  • Crowd prompts.
    You leave a blank at the end of a sentence and get the child to fill it in. These are typically used in books with rhyme or books with repetitive phases. For example, you might say, "I think I'd be a glossy cat. A little plump but not too ____," letting the child fill in the blank with the word fat. Completion prompts provide children with information about the structure of language that is critical to later reading.
  • Recall prompts.
    These are questions about what happened in a book a child has already read. Recall prompts work for nearly everything except alphabet books. For example, you might say, "Can you tell me what happened to the little blue engine in this story?" Recall prompts help children in understanding story plot and in describing sequences of events. Recall prompts can be used not only at the end of a book, but also at the beginning of a book when a child has been read that book before.
  • Open-ended prompts.
    These prompts focus on the pictures in books. They work best for books that have rich, detailed illustrations. For example, while looking at a page in a book that the child is familiar with, you might say, "Tell me what's happening in this picture." Open-ended prompts help children increase their expressive fluency and attend to detail.
  • Wh-prompts.
    These prompts usually begin with what, where, when, why, and how questions. Like open-ended prompts, wh- prompts focus on the pictures in books. For example, you might say, "What's the name of this?" while pointing to an object in the book. Wh- questions teach children new vocabulary.
  • Distancing prompts.
  • These ask children to relate the pictures or words in the book they are reading to experiences outside the book. For example, while looking at a book with a picture of animals on a farm, you might say something like, "Remember when we went to the animal park last week. Which of these animals did we see there?" Distancing prompts help children form a bridge between books and the real world, as well as helping with verbal fluency, conversational abilities, and narrative skills. 


CAR Method according to ( website from language is the key: Early language is critical for academic success CAR method uses the overarching teaching approach of follow the child’s lead.  

  • C –comment and wait.
  • A – ask a question and wait.
  • R – respond by adding more.