While curling up with a favorite book may be enjoyable for some children, others find it to be a nightmare. Whether they're struggling readers or kids who are distracted in our digital world, it's become more important than ever to engage reluctant readers in class. After all, reading can open up new worlds, fuel the imagination of children, and provide kids with the tools needed to succeed. Luckily, the right reluctant reader activities can be all it takes to inspire a love of reading that lasts a lifetime.
Getting to Know the Reluctant Readers in Class
Reluctant readers are kids who find reading to be uninteresting. Maybe they have a hard time with the text, or perhaps they have yet to discover stories that grab their attention. As a teacher, it is important to understand the needs of individual students if you're to help them become more comfortable with the written word.
Start by gathering information about the students in the class. Ask questions like: What do they hate about reading? What type of stories do they prefer? How could they be motivated to read more often?
Once a teacher has a better understanding of each student’s preferences, they can take steps to help them become more enthusiastic readers.
Teaching strategies to build a bridge to happy reading
A big part of this is making sure we use teaching methods that work for each child. After all, we’re all different, right? Some kids might love to read aloud, while others might enjoy fun reading apps.
Here are some proven ways to engage struggling readers:
Find books and other materials that match the student’s interests and passions. This could include comics, magazines, or stories with characters that look and sound like your students.
Allow students to choose books
Offer a wide variety of materials to the children in your classroom. This could include newspapers, graphic novels, non-fiction books, or even online articles and websites. Students are far more likely to engage if they play a role in choosing the material they read.
Kids today are digital natives, so let’s not forget the power of technology! There are loads of reading apps out there that make reading a game. These apps can help kids learn new words, practice reading, and even listen to stories read aloud.
Hold Regular Discussions
Reading should be a group activity. Encourage students to discuss stories by asking questions like: what do you think will happen next, or can you relate to the character in some way? This can help bring the text to life and make it more relevant.
Create Fun Challenges
Challenges can also be an effective way to engage reluctant readers. Consider holding a spelling bee, book club competitions, or other activities that will bring out the best in kids and foster a love for reading.
By using these strategies, we can make reading a fun and exciting adventure for all kids. But that’s not all! There are more fun reading tips and activities to explore in the next section. Let’s dive in!
Games and Activities to make reading fun
Engaging kids in reading is often about making it fun. We can do this by introducing games and activities that bring books to life. Here are some exciting games and activities that we can use in the classroom to make reading an adventure!
1. Book-themed Scavenger Hunt
Create a scavenger hunt based on a book you’re reading in class. Ask your child to find things around the house or classroom that relate to the story. This makes reading interactive and fun!
2. Reading Aloud using Silly Voices
Ask your child to pick a favorite character from a book and read their parts using silly voices. It’s a great game that makes reading aloud fun and helps kids learn to express different emotions.
3. Create Graphic Novels
Kids love graphic novels. So why not let them create their own? They can illustrate a scene from a book they’re reading or make up their own story. It’s a fun way to engage older children who love to draw.
4. Picture Book Storytelling
For younger or pre-readers, picture books can be a great resource. Let them tell a story using the pictures. This builds confidence and helps them understand how a story works.
5. Book Trailer Design
Creating a book trailer is like making a movie trailer, but for a book. This activity is exciting and lets kids use their creativity. Plus, it’s a great way to engage older kids in reading.
6. Reader’s Theater
Always a popular activity, reader's theater allows children to step on stage and perform scenes from the books being read in class. This can be a fun and exciting way to engage many children at once in a story. It also allows kids to connect with the characters and plot of a story so they understand it better.
7. Word Searches and Crossword Puzzles
Create word search and crossword puzzles using vocabulary from a book. This helps kids learn unfamiliar words and makes reading interactive.
8. Book Bingo
Make a bingo card with different types of books or different genres. This encourages children to read a variety of books.
9. Storyboard Creation
Let kids create a storyboard for a book. This can help them understand the story better and make reading more fun.
10. Collaborative Story Writing
Have kids write a story together. This can be a fun way to practice reading and writing skills.
11. Book Cover Redesign
Ask kids to design a new cover for a book. This lets them use their creativity and engage with the same book but in a new way.
Support Slow Readers with Tailored Activities Just For Them
Slow readers need extra care and attention. But, with the right activities, we can help them improve and enjoy reading too.
1. Paired Reading
This is a useful activity where an adult or an older student reads along with a slow reader. They take turns, which helps the child build confidence and understand the story better.
Flashcards with words or letter sounds can be a big help. The child can practice at their own pace, which gives them more control over their learning. Quizlet can be a great resource to help with this.
3. Read and Draw
In this activity, a child reads a sentence or a paragraph and then draws a picture of what they understood. This can help check their understanding of the written word and make reading fun.
4. Word Families
Word families are groups of words that have a common feature or pattern. Teaching these can help children learn to read words faster and with more confidence.
5. Phonemic Awareness Games
Games that focus on the sounds of words can help a lot. These can be simple games like ‘I Spy’ with sounds instead of objects.
6. Reading Apps
Many great reading apps can help slow readers improve. These apps turn reading into a game and make it more engaging.
Audiobooks for kids can be a powerful tool to help teachers support reading in students intimidated by text on the page. A child can follow along in the book while listening to the story read aloud. This helps them see and hear the words at the same time.
By using these activities, we can help slow readers improve their skills and find joy in reading. But, there’s another tool that can be a big help: High Interest Low Level reading material. Let’s find out more about that next!
Hi Low Books are your secret weapon
High Interest Low Level reading material, also known as hi lo books, can be a game-changer for struggling readers. These are books that are written at a lower reading level but cover topics that are interesting for older kids. They make reading easier and more enjoyable.
Understanding High Interest Low Level Reading Material
Let’s break down the idea of Hi-Lo books a bit more. ‘High Interest’ means the books are about topics that kids find exciting. This could be anything from superheroes and scary stories to sports or adventures. ‘Low Level’ means the books are written in a way that makes them easier to read. They have simpler words, shorter sentences, and more pictures.
Benefits of High Interest Low Level Reading Material
The big benefit of Hi-Lo books is that they make reading fun and achievable for kids who find reading hard. Instead of struggling with a book that’s too hard for them, they can enjoy a book that’s just right. It’s like finding the perfect pair of shoes - not too big, not too small, but just right!
Examples of High Interest Low Level Reading Material
There are many great Hi-Lo books out there. For example, our publishing company specializes in scary books for tweens. These books are exciting and fun, and they are also written in a way that makes them easy to read.
Other popular Hi-Lo books include graphic novels and comic books. These books use pictures to help tell the story, which can make reading easier and more fun.
Finding and Choosing High Interest Low Level Reading Material
So, how can you help your child pick their first Hi-Lo books? Your local library is a great place to start. When choosing books, remember to think about what your child is interested in. A book about a child’s favorite sport or a thrilling adventure story might be just the thing to get them excited about reading!
Conclusion: Sparking a Love for Reading
Engaging reluctant readers might seem like a colossal task, but with the right tools and activities, we can make reading a fun adventure for every child. From creating a cozy reading space to exploring high interest low level reading material, there’s a lot we can do to spark a love for reading.
Remember, every child learns at their own pace. Whether they’re a struggling reader, a slow reader, or a child who’s not yet excited about reading, our job is to support them and make reading enjoyable. And the most important thing? To show them that reading isn’t just about learning - it’s about exploring new worlds, going on adventures, and having fun.
So, whether you’re a teacher or a homeschool parent, let’s use these tools and activities to create a world where every child loves to read. Because a child who reads will be an adult who thinks, and that’s a wonderful thing!