Picture reading or picture description is a pre-reading activity.It is given as a oral activity [reading] and a writing activity later.It is asked as "describe what is in the picture ". So the child must be able to interpret the picture before he can interpret the printed word. The child may or may not have had that experience ,may or may not know the things. But they must be able to say something about that picture. Its importance lies in the fact that our lives is very limited , we may not be experiencing or doing those things and also we don't talk about it even if it is happening , and so through pictures we can bring that experience to the child through picture description.Teach them exactly what is happening in the pictures.They should develop that much mental capacity where they are able to see the picture and say what happened in the past and what is happening now and what will happen next and to be able to say why it all happened. It is not that simple activity that we think. Parents give books of pictures to children to look and they do so mindlessly.There has to a motive to see those pictures and the children should learn to ask questions and think what a picture is trying to say.They should learn to look at pictures intelligently and say something about it.For that the parents have to sit with them and get them books which are meaningful.
There are 2 pictures that she talked about.I would like to show how she read them.
The 1st picture-
In the picture , there is a boy.There is a clock.The boy was sleeping in his bed.The alarm clock rang.The boy woke up.
Here she demonstrated how at night the alarm clock is wound and set and then how it rings in the morning at that time.The children were made to pretend play sleep and then when the alarm rang they all woke up.It was fun for the kids and the picture concept of alarm clock cleared to the children. The concept of "why the boy woke up?" was that he woke up because the alarm clock rang was understood by the kids.
The 2nd picture-
In the picture there is an elephant.There is a bucket.In the bucket there is water.The elephant is drinking water.
Now when ma'am asked the kids what the elephant doing , they all looked blank.I too was perplexed as to why Prisha could not say the word "drink". This where the transfer of knowledge is required.Maybe as they have never seen the elephant drinking water , they did not really know about it.
In picture reading initially make simple sentences where you break the sentence the way we did it above. With practice the child would learn to make complex sentence like- In the picture , there is an elephant drinking water from the bucket.Since they do not have language maturity , it is important to follow this pattern.