It wasn’t until I was about 17 that I really “got into” reading, I just couldn’t stand reading as a “have to”. The obliged duty of handing essays to my teachers was dreadful, especially anything to do with history or literature as a subject itself. The desperate need of something “worth” reading got to me only the day I found something really meaninful TO ME. Not until then did I start practically devouring books in whatever the genre or topic caught my fancy.
Nowadays, I can read a book in a couple of days although on average I read a couple of books a month, but what is it that makes you read? Something interesting of course but…
interesting TO YOU.
Discover the things that are interesting TO THEM.
Not because you think that a book looks like he/she will like it, they will. Go to the library with them and let THEM choose. They might get it right or wrong but they will get to know that there are so many types, genres, topics, lay outs, and so on from where to choose. Moreover, you do not finish reading a book if it is not really interesting enough. So why would they have to? Head to the library and change it!
- Ask questions about their likes, dislikes, fears,
- Know their favourite characters/meals/games.
- Provide opportunities for these topics to be present in their reading material. Librarians are of great help when you don’t know where to look for a topic.
Hold after-reading activities
After reading apply some imagination play into your topic and come up with things related to your story, and this is where your language lessons come into life the possibilities are endless…
- impersonating: dressing up/puppets
- crafting – making puppets, collages, paintings, drawings, models, playdough figures, masks, cutting, sticking, sewing, threading activities.
- Using story bag activities
- making recipes
- playing a related board game
- Dancing and making up songs related to the main characters (works wonders!)
- googling further information (great for factual /non-fiction books)
- Making up outdoor adventures
- Joining a virtual reading club (you can find sites running them for any age, or better still, start one!)
- Heading to the shops
- Attending seasonal events (this works wonders with seasonal books)
Reward for reading
Everybody is familiar nowadays with positive reinforcement, apply it to reading and work with a stickers chart, better still, make one with your children and work with it, if they help making it, it will have better results!
For those who live in England, take the Summer Reading Challenge and get your stickers at the library.
If you don’t live in England, get support from your local library to implement a similar “Challenge”, if this is definitely impossible, you could start your own reading club at your local library or tell your friends and get together simply to read and share stories. This could be a great opportunity to socialise while sharing stories or even exchanging books. After all, you don’t need to read all the same book and you could tell in every session what the best part was in your book. You can get together at home, in the park, in a coffee-shop. Make it special!
Can you come up with more ideas, if so, share them with us!
May you have a summer full of stories…