This is a guest post hosted by Win’s Books and written by Alison Clarke.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all your kids (or students) loved to write and read? If only it were that simple. But take heart, because we’re about to talk about the fun reading and writing activities you can do with kids!
First of all, the key to introducing the love of reading and writing to children is to start them young. These activities are suitable for children who are beginning to intermediate readers.
1. Reading together
Parents or teachers of kids in the pre-reading stage can still engage children by reading to them. Find a book that piques kids’ interest. Better yet, bring them to a bookstore or library and let them choose a book that they want to read. Let them wander around and see the different kinds of books. You can also use this opportunity to support new or young authors.
When they grow older and are able to read by themselves, you and your child can take turns reading a book by page or chapter. In a classroom, you can still read a book by taking turns. You can ask your students to read aloud as a class when it’s their turn. Or you can introduce a twist, such as passing around a ball or toy to indicate who the next individual reader is.
Whether at home or school, encourage children further by praising them for their efforts and helping them out when they encounter difficult words.
2. Guessing the next scene
A sure and easy way to keep kids invested in a story is to have them guess what happens next. Pause before an important or interesting scene and ask kids to give their fearless predictions. This is not only a way to keep them focused but also to empower them. That’s because a dialogic reading ensures that they do not become passive listeners. It will spark their imagination and train them to speak their minds.
You can also bring up exciting questions at the start and end of the story. For example, let children predict what the story will be about based on the title and cover of the book. When the story ends, ask the kids to imagine what happened after “happily ever after” or challenge them to imagine a different ending.
3. Following instructions
For young ones who are beginning to establish their independence, it’s important to do activities that can give them a sense of accomplishment. If you have a family recipe for a snack or meal that you and your child can make together, use it for this fun activity! First, make sure that the language used is at your child’s level and read the recipe with your child. And then, let your child read the recipe to you as you go over each step. Let your kid help with measuring and mixing ingredients.
In school where it might not be easy to cook with your whole class, you can use a different set of instructions. For instance, you can fold simple origami shapes. Just make sure to let the kids read the instructions aloud as you go along. For more advanced learners, you can encourage them to enroll in online courses for kids to enhance their communication skills and creativity.
4. Writing or rewriting stories
Instead of just letting them recite their answers, you can let kids write their own alternate endings to their favorite fairytales. You can even help them write their own stories. But for kids whose writing skills are still in development, you can let them draw their endings or their favorite characters and scenes from the story. Afterwards, you can let them write a word, phrase, or sentence to describe their drawings. Let your children or students talk about their output to give them a chance to expound their ideas.
5. Keeping a reading diary
Let kids keep a log of all the stories they’ve read. Their reading diary can be as simple or complex as possible. Include interesting parts to make the diary more personalized and useful. One example is a section for new words where kids can list the unfamiliar words they read from a story and add drawings and definitions. You can also let students record how they felt during or after reading each story. For older kids, have them write a short essay of how they were able to relate to the story. Reward kids who read lots of books as well as those who have creative diary entries.
6. Writing letters
Kids and adults alike benefit from knowing the purpose of a task. That way, they’ll have the proper mindset and motivation to do it. Writing a letter to a family member or friend is a great way to let kids know the value of writing. You can have letter-writing or card-making activities on special occasions such as birthdays or Mother’s Day. Kids will feel confident about their writing and art skills when they see that the card or letter they wrote has made a loved one smile. For an extra twist, you can ask students to write a note to a character from a story they’ve read.
To motivate children to read and write, it’s important to know what they like and keep them involved and active. Activities like reading together, predicting scenes, and following directions can stimulate kids’ interest in reading. Meanwhile, creating their own stories, keeping a diary, and making cards and letters will let children see the beauty of writing.
Live. Laugh. Love.
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