Reading is an essential life skill.
Children who choose to read books for pleasure and enjoyment will ultimately do better in literacy. At school children are encouraged to read regularly and it is recommended that they read for 30 minutes every day. Reading every day will help children develop their writing skills, as well as improving their vocabulary and spelling.
Reading To Understand
Primary School children read lots of books, but do KS1 and KS2 children understand what they have read? Not always!
Many children will skim read books with the aim to finish it quickly. Some start books but never get to the end of them. Children should be encouraged to read and look at a variety of reading material that is fiction and non-fiction. This way they can appreciate the importance of reading. Children don't have read storybooks only. A child who doesn't like to read story books may prefer to read comics, magazines, newspapers etc. They are more likely to understand what they are reading if they have an interest in the reading material.
When out and about, asking children to read road signs, leaflets, menus etc can also help. This can then be extended by asking questions such as "Which way should we go now? What ingredients are in main course of the meal? What facilities are available in the theme park? When does the shop open?"
Writing A Book Review
Writing a book review can help children think about reading and understand what they have read.
Encouraging children to recall who the main characters are in a story, where the story takes place, the main events that happen in a story, all help with understanding a story. If they can't answer a question, it gives them a reason to go back and find the answer.
Discussing the characters, setting, beginning,middle and end of the story will help Primary School children understand and enjoy stories. Ask children more open-ended questions such as 'How could you change the ending? Which is your favorite character and why? Why would you recommend this book to other children?' This will encourage them to give their own opinion about the book.
Download A Free Book Review Template
Click on the download button below for a book review template.
Teach My Kids - Activities for children:
Ask your child to choose a short story to read. Then use this literacy writing template to write a book review. Your child can write in full sentences or bullet point answers.