Skip to Main Site Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Back To Top

Completing a Phrase

Family Reading Time Series

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 COMPLETION prompt, where the adult asks the child to complete a word or a phrase or leaves a blank space when reading for the child to fill in. Encouraging children to complete words or phrases helps them to listen more intently to the story and to use language, both of which support their overall literacy development.

Watch video

decorative edge

Did you find this video useful? 

 Please consider making a $1 donation to help support our efforts to make additional videos. ($5 or $10 would be great, too!)

We'd also love to hear your feedback on this video.
decorative edge
  • Family Reading Time:
    Completing a Phrase

    (This video has captions. You can turn them on by clicking the CC icon at the bottom of the video.)
    Download a printable transcript.

    Introduction: And now, it’s Family Reading Time!

    Narrator: Are you looking for a way to help your child become a stronger reader? We know from research that families can support children’s learning by having conversations during book reading.

    Adult: “Is he in the box?”
    Adult: “Baby llama wants a drink; mama’s at the kitchen…”
    Child: Sink.

    Narrator: When reading a familiar book try asking your child to complete a word or phrase.

    Older sibling: “I’m beginning to feel that your mama must really be…” Who do you think?
    Younger sibling: “A seal.”
    Older sibling: A seal? Let’s see. “A seal.”

    Narrator: This will help your child listen closely to the story and to use their language skills, which will make them stronger readers later on.

    Narrator: Family Reading Time Tip: Ask your child to complete a word or phrase during book reading.

    Closing: Family Reading Time has been brought to you by the Windham Area Women & Girls Fund and the Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University.

  • Family Reading Time was developed under the Dialogic Reading for Multilingual Families project, funded by the Windham Area Women and Girls Fund of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. 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.


    See more:

  • 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