Research shows that conversations that deepen a topic are very beneficial to children just learning how to talk (Developing narrative structure, edited by A. McCabe and C. Peterson. 1991)
David Dickinson, describes this effort to deepen a conversation as “Strive for 5”.
Speak and then wait for up to 5 seconds for the child to respond – and then the adult speaks again. Can you keep the dialogue alive for 5 turns?
Adult –> Child –> Adult –> Child –> Adult
I don’t model this well in storytime. I may ask children questions, but I will not wait patiently for an answer. Please, trust what the researchers say – not what you see me do in front of a group at storytime.