Thursday, November 01, 2007

Activities that Encourage Reading Part One

November 12-18th is National Children's Book Week and in celebration here are activities to help promote children's literacy and a love of reading. I'm breaking this list into two posts, the second half to be posted next Thursday.

Ages 3-5:

1. Have your child tell you a story and then write it down. Print it and have them illustrate it. Give them opening lines if necessary ("'It was the worst day of my life,' said the pirate"). I still have a copy of Grace's masterpiece Omadus Omadus the Turtle. Gotta love that subtext.

2. Point out street and store signs to your child while driving around town.

3. Leave simple notes for your child: under their pillow, in their bureau drawer, inside their tennis shoes, on their pajamas.

4. Play rhyming games where the child must rhyme a word with one of yours. "Is there a bee on my knee?" "No, I think he's in the tree."

Ages 6-8:
5. Find a pen pal for your child. Kids Space Connection is a good place to start.

6. Teach your children to read recipe notations such as "teaspoon" and "cup" and then help you cook using cookbooks.

7. Plan activities that relate to a specific story. For example, keep jars of "cures" from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's store (cinnamon-sugar for Grouchy Powder, cherry syrup for Hurry-up Syrup, Lemon Drops as a Whining Cure). Make pepparkakor like Pippi Longstocking (but without the mess).

8. Make paper dolls for the main characters in a story. Use the dolls in the American Girl catalogue or Boys Life or have children draw their own and back them on cardstock. Read about dinosaurs and "bury" toy dinosaurs in plaster of paris and allow children to dig for them. A sandbox would also work well for the idea.

Ages 9-12:
9. Help children publish their writing in a family newsletter utilizing fancy fonts, columns, borders and colors. Kids can also submit their writing to children's websites such as Stone Soup.

10. Read the sports scores or comics in the newspaper together.

11. Help children form book clubs with other children through local book stores or with friends and family. Throw a Nancy Drew party and play Clue; start a Harry Potter club and serve Bertie Botts beans; start an Animorphs club and make paper masks to morph into character.

12. Have round writing activities where each person writes one line or paragraph of a story then passes it to the next person who adds the next part of the story. This can be done in an hour or over a month.

13. Plan activities related to a specific story: Provide a box of miscellaneous hardware and electronics and make it the Invention Box in memory of Homer Price. Check out videos giving historical background about fictional stories such as the PBS documentary Seabiscuit or travel videos on Chincoteague Island after reading Misty of Chincoteague. Have children draw maps of fantasy worlds such as Prydain, Droon, Narnia, Mount Olympus, Hogwarts or Middle Earth.

Spencer and his best friend Gabe did this in second grade and was very successful in encouraging an interest in reading. I took a piece of canvas and hemmed it and they took turns adding to their map of Droon with colored permanent markers as they read their favorite series, The Secrets of Droon. One boy would take it home from school one day then bring it back for the other to have the next day. A picture is posted here.

For other ideas see two previous posts: Tips for Improving Your Child's Literacy and More Tips for Improving Your Child's Literacy.


Special thanks to The Wooden Porch for her kindness in awarding me a Perfect Post Award for October for Teaching Courtesy: Be a Little Nicer to the Waitress. It just made my week.

Technorati tags: children's literature,


Lori said...

What great ideas...reading is so important for children and adults. Thanks for sharing. Happy TT.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas for reading. I should get my siblings involved in this one :)

Happy Thursday!

Raggedy said...

What a great list!
Terrific Thursday Thirteen!
My TT is posted.
Have a wonderful day!
Happy TT'ing!
(")_ (")Š

Anonymous said...

I love your # 1...I think I'll do it sometimes today for my 3 year old daughter.

Thanks :D

Rebecca Mecomber said...

My experience has been that good readers make good writers. And reading parents make reading children.

Good post.

Anonymous said...

Some very good ideas there. I had a pen pal when I was about 8 or 9 and we stayed in touch until our early twenties, in the pre-email days of stamps and envelopes. Then she got married and lost interest in me! I wonder how many tens of thousands of words we wrote to each other during those years.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle as a child ... and all the Ramona books. Keri is just starting to get ready for these ones.

Cecily R said...

Great ideas Scribbit! We do a lot (and I mean a lot) of number one around here. I love number three. I think that's one I'll start doing...

SJ Reidhead said...

I agree - esp the Nancy Drew club!

Confessions of a Nancy Drew Addict, right?

The Pink Flamingo

Darla said...

When my daughter was 4, her favorite babysitter did #1 with her--she still has several of the books they made. I was amazed at her imagination. Better yet, she passed on the favor to her brothers when they came along. :)

Unknown said...

Great list! My daughter is learning to read so I am printing this off and hanging it on the fridge for easy access.


Janet said...

Thanks for a timely idea. Thursdays are our stay at home days, and as it's raining, writing a book seems like a great activity. Mary Margaret will love it. She likes to read to William. It's mostly memorization, but she does recognize all her letters and can write a number of them.

Anonymous said...

I like the map idea!

Anonymous said...

Great tips! I love the idea of leaving notes all around. It's like creating a fun treasure hunt everyday!

Montserrat said...

Loads of good ideas! Our favorite homeschool units are centered around books.

We read aloud to our children in the evenings. It's our favorite times of day.

Joyismygoal said...

Love this good ideas mine all 4 are readers novels newspapers, poetry, law Books:>

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Great idea! I always love your Thursday lists...this one is so helpful to me right now. My older two kids are 5 and 3, so I'll have to do some of the things suggested here. I like the idea of leaving them notes!

PunditMom said...

Thanks for the pen pal info. I think that's right up PunditGirl's alley.

I was trying to explain Pippi Longstocking to her the other day -- she just rolled her eyes!

Ice Cream said...

So, how do you get a 9 year old girl to stop reading fantasy books? Or at least to alternate between fantasy and something worth reading.

Daisy said...

We've read the comics together since our kids were little. We still read them aloud to out blind teen; he gets the jokes just fine!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas...and I like your new look. I haven't ended up here in awhile, but it looks nice.

Thea @ It's Me Vs. Me said...

I almost skipped this post since Jake is so off the charts with his reading...but then I remember I actually have TWO kids and that maybe I need to do a little more with Emma. We don't read with her nearly as much as we do with Jake.

Thanks for the info!