Friday, April 19, 2013

I Don't Know What to Read

Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series
You've probably heard it from your kids a million times. "There's nothing to eat!"  Occasionally, it may be an accurate estimate of the household food stores and mean trip to the grocery store.  Usually, it is an exaggeration.  "I can't find anything to eat, " is a more likely scenario in your house.  As you know, a little effort paired with a sense of adventure can postpone an unnecessary shopping trip.  There are parallels when it comes to reading.  When your child groans about being unable to find a book, it may be because she doesn't know where or how to look.

The International Reading Association enumerates a number of strategies that you can use to help your child find a great read.  To get started, determine your child's purpose for reading.  Is it for entertainment?  Research?  Is she looking for fiction?  How about an autobiography?  Once the reason is understood, give her an opportunity to browse.  This could be at the bookstore, the library, or even the bookshelves in your home.  In a library or a bookstore, take the time to explain how books are organized.  If you are unsure, ask - it will save time and frustration.  After she has gathered a number of titles, don't be afraid to say "yes."  A book that may seem too simple, too short, or have too many pictures could be the perfect hook for a reluctant reader.  In fact, graphic novels are an excellent way to entice your child to read.  At the same time, allow your child to abandoned a book she doesn't like.  With thousands of great titles to choose from, why should she waste her time reading a book she doesn't enjoy?  Keep in mind that reading requires commitment, however.  Unlike our passive interaction with TV and movies, a novel demands more.  I like the 50 page rule.  If, after 50 pages, I don't like the book, I reserve the right to put it down and never look at it again.  I expect the same of my students.  Additionally, encourage your child to talk to her teachers, her librarian, and her classmates.  Everyone has a book they would love to share!  As an extra resource, I have added every book that has been 'commercialed' by a student to a shelf on Shelfari.  You can find it on the bottom of my blog and linked on Edmodo as well.

Finally, take a moment to enjoy this video about book selection put out by Next Vista for Learning.  Happy reading!

photo credit: Pesky Library via photopin cc

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