The link between reading for fun and educational success is well-established, but how can teachers get reluctant readers into books? These teaching resources that I found in the guardian website will surley help.
Studies have found that reading for pleasure is more important to a child’s educational achievement than their family’s wealth or social class. But how to inspire children to ditch the tech (e-readers excepted) and get into reading for fun?
Having a couple of nice books in the book corner won’t necessarily cut it anymore, especially if your students’ parents/carers don’t have a reading habit. So, here are some great teaching resources and ideas which will help you to encourage all your students to become lifelong readers and turn your school into a reading school.
We start with some inspiring resources from the Scottish Book Trust. For fabulous ideas on creating a reading culture check out The big book bash. It’s full of ideas from holding a whole school celebration to setting up blind dates with a book.
If you want to give parents some quick guidance on how to encourage their children to read these top tips sheets are really handy; this sheet is for three-to-seven year-olds and this one for eight-to-11-year-olds. Don’t give up on the teens, here are some tips for helping young people aged 12-16. The books don’t have to be too wordy, here are some great ideas for picture books for older readers – and their breadth and depth might take you by surprise.
Shared reading between older and younger pupils is a great way to increase confidence and reading skills of older pupils as well as helping early years and reception-aged children to experience the thrills of reading. This paired reading toolkit from the National Literacy Trust has some more great ideas on how reading with other children works.
Getting parents and carers to read at home with their children is vital. The Discover Centre, the UK’s first hands-on story museum, has some engaging tips to help families enjoy books via these story book activity cards.
Librarian and children’s author Dawn Finch has years of experience of engaging families in reading. Find tips on reading for pleasure with children and What shall we do today? A month of simple reading activities.
For the ultimate inspiration on what to read, send students to the Guardian children’s books site. They’ll find fantastic reviews and recommendations for books written by their peers, as well as inspiration from authors. Individual children can sign up and contribute their own reviews to the site, as well as getting opportunities to receive free books and question authors. Book groups can also join in the fun as a collective. The Guardian’s book doctor is ready to deal with children’s book-related problems, such as where are all the funny books for teenagers?
Also see the Book Trust’s invaluable online bookfinder, to find the perfect book for all ages and tastes. And, there are more ideas on what books to give for Christmas from the Guardian’s children’s books team in the best in children’s literature 2013.
The Reading Agency is on a mission is to give everyone an equal chance to become confident and enthusiastic readers. The charity coordinates Chatterbooks groups run in libraries and schools. Download this month’s Christmas hols-themed pack and find out more about more about setting up a Chatterbooks group.
This is for anyone thinking of setting up a reading group for teenagers. Check out the Reading Agency’s Instragrammer in Residence project for something a little bit different.
Here are some great tips and hints for running a children’s bookclub from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE). Also see this teaching sequence based on Alexis Deacon’s Beegu for years 1 and 2, part of the CLPE’s Power of Reading project. The sequence helps children to become deeply involved in the text through creative approaches and develop into more reflective readers, plus it is fully updated to include requirements for the national curriculum 2014. Books to support phonics within a reading curriculum is also a really useful list for a rich reading curriculum.
From book to film and back again is a fantastic guide from FilmClub exploring some of the greatest children’s books from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to the action-packed Stormbreaker which have been adapted into films. The idea is to encourage children, especially reluctant readers, to read the original text for themselves after watching the films. Also find From watching to writing.
Random House has created some great teaching activities to inspire children to get into reading. For younger readers, find activity sheets on Shirley Hughes’ classic creation Alfie and the Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet.
For seven-to-11 year olds, check out this resource on the fabulous Darcy Burdock books which, despite the pinkish covers, are perfect for boys as well as girls.
For Jacqueline Wilson fans we have activities on The Worst Thing About My Sister, the Victorian era pack, Hetty Feather and Jacky Daydream, where fans can find out all about the author.
Also find resources on RJ Palacio’s Wonder, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne and Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co ghost hunting agency.
Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series is a powerful hook to get reluctant teenagers reading, tackling the issues of racism and prejudice in a world set in an alternate historical reality. Find thought-provoking resources on the first book in the series Noughts and Crosses, and then Knife Edge, Checkmate and Double Cross.
This blog on Drop Everything and Read is an inspirational story about the magic of whole-school reading.
And finally, a date for your diary. The Guardian’s Education Centre is running a full-day Reading for Pleasure conference aimed at primary school teachers on 20 March 2014. The lineup of speakers and workshop leaders is yet to be announced but will doubtless be as inspirational as ever. You can find notes on the Reading for Pleasure conferences which will soon be updated with the next itinerary.