Theory of Mind and Reading
Theory of mind is the ability to understand the feelings and intentions of others. It’s a foundational skill for being able to predict, make connections and inference. Being able to put ourselves in other’s shoes is necessary for effective communication and is an area in which many of Lionheart’s students struggle.
As a young child becomes symbolic, he/she begins to understand what is seen, heard and experienced. Perception gets separated with actions and words are visualized as mental images. These imaginative and socio-emotional skills are what help children make connections and predictions which are essential skills for successful reading comprehension.
One method to guide the development of not only theory of mind but reading comprehension is Fairy Tales. This genre is applicable for children of all ages, as the content can address a variety of real life situations. Fairy tales can show children how to handle problems and navigate life. They build emotional resiliency and show the hope for good to triumph over evil. Fairy tales help us understand the basics of a story: setting, characters, and plot, in addition to helping children know the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Fairy tales help develop a child’s imagination. They teach morals and lessons as well as help children deal with emotions, family issues and how their behavior and feelings affect the world we perceive around us.
At Lionheart, we use fairy tales to assist in the development of theory of mind which in turn strengthens reading comprehension. We highly encourage you to integrate fairy tales into your own home reading time.