This month we are all reading Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Helming & Deborah Hembrook.

This is an adorable book that encourages problem-solving by giving clues to determine the job of each community helper.

Check the preschool reading strategies we use when reading Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do.

Required Materials

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*Clothesline Clues for Jobs People Do


The first time we read a book we should be reading it for fun. This doesn’t mean that you can’t comment on or interact with the text, but rather don’t make that the focus. Enjoy the book; use different voices when appropriate and make guesses based on the pictures and text using the clues.

Concepts About Print

Concepts about print are the foundation of reading and writing as they focus on the fact that letters make words which convey meaning. When our kids are little we think it is so sweet that they are “reading” their books upside down, but the more you read to them the more they begin to understand concepts about print and hole the book correctly. (P.S. it is totally sweet that they love books so much and are reading upside down)

This book is rather short and has minimal text which makes it perfect for teaching the idea that words convey meaning. As you read the book, point to each word as you say it. This will help your preschooler understand that you are reading the written words in the book to tell the story.
Some of our older preschoolers may be ready to do the pointing for you. You can get a pointer or make own by decorating a craft stick and let your child point to the words as you read.
Observations and Conclusions

Preschoolers can make observations and draw conclusions when they read a book, in fact, they tend to be really good at it. They notice everything and usually struggle with finding the information or clues that are most important. When you encourage your preschooler to talk about what they are reading and seeing and then ask the hard question, “What does that mean?” Even if that means you have to answer your own question. Every time you answer your own question you are modeling, which is very important.

Here are some example observations & conclusions:

  • As you read the clues pages take note of the various objects each community members uses and make a prediction about the community member who uses these objects.
  • Also, note that the mail carrier is in almost every picture with the other community members delivering invitations.
Making Connections
A friend of mine recently asked how to inspire her seven-year-old to be interested in reading and my suggestion was simply to read to him. As your preschooler gets older and learns to read independently, you will quickly find out that their interest level is greater than their actual reading level. Books that they’re able to read on their own are dull and boring. This is why teaching them to love reading at a young age is so important. The hope is that their love for books will carry them through that stage where they’re learning to read independently and books can be boring. Additionally, it is important to read to them so they continue to see books as entertainment and you can model making connections which helps form that love of reading.
Here are some of the connections we made while reading Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do.
  • The mail carrier is delivering letters just like when we wrote a letter and put it in the mail for the mail carrier to pick up and take to Poppa.
  • Is the chef cooking just like you cook in your red kitchen?
  • Wow, is the artist painting? We love painting too.
  • The astronaut is getting a rocket just like Mickey when he went to space. (We watch a lot of Mickey Mouse and could make a connection to him and just about anything.)
  • They’re having a party! Your birthday is coming up and we’ll have a party too!

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