Especially for Parents: See-Show-Say Strategy for Building Literacy Skills

by Angie Williams

One of the ways in which caregivers and families can enrich literacy experiences for young children in through the see-show-say method of reading. This method involves a back-and-forth conversation (both verbal or nonverbal) between the child and the reader.

See: The reader can point to objects or parts of the book, run his finger across the word, and talk about illustrations. The child shows her understanding by following those cues and looking at the things being emphasized.

Show: The reader asks the child to point to and identify characters or illustrations. The reader can make it fun by asking the child to “show” in interesting ways (e.g. tickle the monkey’s toes or show with your body how a kangaroo moves).

Conversational Reading Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Conversational Reading
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Say: Finally, the child is asked to answer verbally. The reader might ask simple questions such as, “What color is the flower?” or open-ended questions such as, “What do you think is going to happen to the caterpillar next?”
Using the see-show-say strategy deepens both the reader’s and the child’s experience with the story, helps caregivers gauge a child’s comprehension, and supports a child’s growing vocabulary.
For more on see-show-say
Teaching Strategies, the author of The Creative Curriculum® offers a short video on the see-show-say strategy here:

You may also be interested in the examples provided in this presentation by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education:

We wish you and your child happy reading!