Primary Primary Literacy Uncategorized

Primary – Activities to encourage reading practice

Reading is a vital skill but so few get enough practice at it. It’s no wonder that many fall behind. To encourage reading we’ve come up with a series of activities that will make reading fun as well as stimulating and challenging.

Activity One – Paired Reading

Younger children love working with older ones and on the whole the older ones love the responsibility of working with younger children.
Begin by setting up ‘training sessions’ where you teach the older ones how to be an effective reading partner. Ask them to remember what it was like when they learned to read and what they found most helpful. Get them to introduce these skills into their work with younger children and perhaps for a session a week they could read to the younger ones and in return listen to them read.
At Home:  Ask the children to continue the work with siblings, friends or family members.

Activity Two – Reading Centres

Set up reading centres around the school – they work even better if they’re somewhere mysterious or ‘secret’. Organise a rota of teachers and/or older pupils to sit there during lunchtime or play time and read a book. Advertise the sessions and promote them in assembly. Allow them to be drop in sessions for the children and ask if any children would like to take over part of the reading. You could even promote them as ‘Jackanory’, the TV book reading show from the seventies.

At Home: Ask the children to find videos of Jackanory on the internet, YouTube has a few including an excellent reading of George’s Marvellous Medicine by Rick Mayall.

Activity Three – Reading to an Audience

A great way to give children confidence in reading is to get them to read to an audience. Organise reward stickers for children who volunteer and ask the whole school at assembly for volunteers to read a passage from their book to the assembly, perhaps once a week. Limit it to a minute or two for each child and perhaps choose a few to read each time. The more reticent will be encouraged by seeing their friends reading and you can encourage them further by letting them take a partner up for support.

At Home:  Encourage the children to read aloud to groups of people, perhaps when family or friends visit.

Activity Four – Reading Reward Schemes

Reward schemes work with almost every activity in school. Setting up a reading reward scheme is easy or you can buy reward schemes ‘off the shelf’. It’s a lot easier with book schemes such as the Collins Big Cat series and stickers or even a signature on a ‘ladder’ will suffice if budgets are tight. Many schools operate book clubs and the commission from these can be used to buy cheap books to use as bigger rewards when a major landmark is reached. You could also get a local bookshop involved or ask a local company to sponsor the reading scheme.

At Home: Tell parents what you are trying to do and ask them to encourage their children to read more at home. Get them to set aside specific times of the week when the children will read.

Activity Five – Reading Book Blogs

Blogs are dead easy to set up, especially with free packages such as WordPress. Create a page for each reading level and use them to post synopses of reading books. You can give the children private access to the blog and encourage them to read the books using the ‘Comments’ section of the blog to post reviews. Comments have to be reviewed by the administrator before they become visible so censoring isn’t a problem. Free ‘poll’ add ons such as Polldaddy are great for kids to vote for their favourite book and the good thing with Polldaddy is you can add fresh titles to the poll regularly without losing the results.

At Home: Encourage the children to use the blog and to comment on the books. Perhaps you could set up an adult’s version to encourage parents to read?

Collins Primary

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