One skill that students learn in school that they are going to use for the rest of their life is reading. Think about it. If you couldn’t read how hard would your life be? While students need to be able to read and to read well it is often hard to work with them and increase their skills. Oftentimes these skill building activities end up hurting their desire not only to read but to practice their reading skills. Below are a list of activities that you can do with children while they are reading and after.
During Reading: A Character’s Lifetime
One thing that students love to do is doodle and draw. This activity asks students to draw characters from the story they are reading as either younger or older versions of themselves. For example, if a student were reading one of the Harry Potter books then they might draw Harry as a baby, a young adult, a parent or an old man. This challenges students to make predictions using text evidence to help them.
After Reading: Cereal Box Book Reports
Cereal box book reports can be a fun way to finish your time with a story. This project challenges students to show their knowledge of the events in a book by creating a cereal that was inspired by the book. This book report is great because it asks students to practice skills like identifying and explaining things like:
- Main characters
- Inciting Incidents
Students also like this project because it allows them to use their imagination and art skills to create their finished project.
During Reading: Text to Self
One thing that students who love to read do that students who don’t like reading do is to connect what they are reading to their life. This activity asks students to connect their own life to what the characters in the book are experiencing. Depending on the age level or reading skill of the student this can be done several different ways.
- Young readers/ beginner skill level
- Ask the students if they would experience the same emotions as the character.
- Young readers/ medium skill level
- Ask students to say whether or not they would react in the same way as the characters.
- Older readers/ advanced skill level
- Ask students to share a story that is similar to one that the characters face in the story.
After Reading: School Lockers
Activities that are assigned after a reading is done can help give students motivation to read more in the future. One of the projects that can build excitement for reading are school lockers. In this project students take a shoebox and create a school locker that would belong to a character in their book. This allows students to show mastery over close reading and context clues without making the process tedious or boring. The best part of this project is the fact that since shoe boxes are so compact it makes it very easy to create a display with everyone’s finished product.