Using ‘The Wizard of Oz’ To Help My Child Read and Improve Writing and Vocabulary Skills

Posted by ed on Jul 11, 2010 in Languages |

'The Wizard of OzYou can have your child use the language strategies he or she learns in school while readingĀ The Wizard of Oz or your child can use the strategies while you read the book out loud.

Here is an excerpt from the book that provides an example of how your child can improve his or her reading comprehension skills:

“After a few hours the road began to be rough, and the walking grew so difficult that the Scarecrow often stumbled over the yellow bricks, which were here very uneven. Sometimes, indeed, they were broken or missing altogether, leaving holes that Toto jumped across and Dorothy walked around. As for the Scarecrow, having no brains, he walked straight ahead, and so stepped into the holes and fell at full length on the hard bricks. It never hurt him, however, and Dorothy would pick him up and set him upon his feet again, while he joined her in laughing merrily at his own mishap.”

While reading the text, your child can incorporate the following reading strategies:


Visualizing when reading helps readers make the words on the page real and meaningful. When students create pictures in their minds, they become more involved with the text.

Ask your child what part he or she visualized. Your child might say that he or she pictured the ‘rough road’ or saw the Scarecrow stumble.

Making Predictions

Predicting involves thinking ahead and anticipating parts of the story. By predicting, students connect prior knowledge with new information. This helps your child understand the continuity of the text.

You can have your child point out that the Scarecrow “has no brains” and is therefore not intelligent. Have your child predict the behaviours that he or she would expect from the Scarecrow while reading the story. Then, later on in the story, when the Scarecrow does something that is considered ‘not-intelligent’, let your child know that his or her prediction was correct.


Inferring (also known as thinking) is absorbing what is known from clues from the text, and thinking about the theme, moral, making speculations, and predictions. The reader must make ‘guesses’ and create their own meaning from the text. Inferring is taking what is written and making discoveries.

You can ask your child to make an inference about Dorothy’s character. Have your child look for clues based on her actions. For example, she “would pick him up and set him upon his feet again, while he joined her in laughing…” You can ask your child what kind of person he or she thinks Dorothy is. Hopefully, your child will determine that Dorothy is ‘helpful’, ‘caring’, and ‘cheerful’ based on her actions.

Classic books such asĀ The Wizard of Oz contain a rich vocabulary with descriptive characters, plot, and settings. Have your child use the reading strategies he or she learns in school while reading high quality books and your child should improve his or her overall reading comprehension skills.


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