Most schools are very good at teaching children HOW to read but they have forgotten to teach them to WANT to read.
Here are some ideas how to help turn our children into LIFETIME readers or Reading Kids.
1. The TOP tip is to read aloud to them! Research has shown that children who are read to are more likely to develop the skills they need to read successfully on their own.
2. Help stir up their imagination by giving a tantalizing glimpse of the book you are about to read to them. Even before you open the book, show them the cover and read the title. Ask them what they think the story will be about. Flick through the pages of the book, page by page, but without reading it. Ask the 'Who, Why, What, When, Where and How ' questions about the pictures they see. "Who is this?" "Why does this character look so sad?" "What is going to happen next?" "When did this story take place?" "Where are they going to go?" "How do you think the story will end?" These questions will encourage children to participate, stirring up their imaginations as they wait to see if their predictions are correct or not as they sit on the edge of their seats waiting for you to begin!
3. Ask the children to retell the story in their own words. Write or type it out for them to make their own version of the book.
4. Get Crafty! Act out the story - dress up as their favourite character in the book - paint a picture relating to the story - make a hanging mobile of characters from the book - make puppets to retell the story - make a playdough model of a scene in the book - be imaginative and let them recall the story in their creative play.
5. For an older child you could ask them to rewrite the ending of the story or make up a short rap poem.
6. Engage listening by asking them to give you non-verbal signals on a given word or passage - eg. "Put you hands on your head when you hear the word 'thunder'." "Rub your eyes when someone feels sad."
7. If you are reading a non-fictional book, activate a child's prior knowledge by asking them what they already know about the topic. When you are finished ask them what have they learnt that they didn't know before. This helps them to associate books for learning about a subject of interest and will help turn them into reading kids and not just school kids that read!