Eastern Connecticut State University
Center for
Early Childhood Education
Text Only Version
Eastern's Home Page


Family Reading Time

Asking Open-Ended Questions


View a transcript of this video


Research shows that having conversations with children during book reading can significantly improve their understanding of the book and build their early literacy skills. One way to increase conversation is to ask children questions during book reading, using dialogic reading prompts such as those developed by Grover Whitehurst. This video demonstrates the prompt for OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS, where the adult asks the child questions that do not have a simple yes or no answer. This gives the child the opportunity to use a lot of language, and the parent a chance to evaluate how well the child is understanding the story.


About the Project

Family Reading Time was developed under the Dialogic Reading for Multilingual Families project. The project provided training to multilingual families, including high school students, on the importance of continuing to read to children in their first language. Trainings also included information on dialogic reading strategies for fostering oral language during book reading. Interested families volunteered to be videotaped reading to their children.


Video Credits

Producer: Julia DeLapp

Director and editor: Denise Matthews

Production coordinator and editing consultant: Ken Measimer

Content expert: Ann Anderberg

Videographers: Ken Measimer, Denise Matthews, Sean Leser (Eastern student), Amy Dillon (Eastern student)

Narrators (English): Luz Ramos, Denise Matthews



The Center for Early Childhood Education thanks the Windham Area Women and Girls Fund of the

Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut for supporting this project.


Back to main Family Reading Time page

Other video resources