Top Tips to Encourage Reading for Pleasure
Let’s be honest, encouraging children to read is not always that easy. It can often feel like a chore to them when there’s such a focus on learning, so here are ten quick tips to promote reading for pleasure for teachers and families.
Let children choose the book and tap into their interests
Allowing children to pick books for themselves, on topics that interest them, is much more likely to engage them with the text. For younger readers, this could be choosing a book for the simple reason of liking the title or the picture on the cover. If you are looking for a book for your class to read, why not create a list of books and get them to vote for the one they would like to read.
Pick books at the right level
The biggest factor that is guaranteed to instantly put a child off reading is if they are met with words that they cannot read. It can also cause embarrassment, especially at school if children are reading in a group aloud. You can still challenge them with books at their appropriate reading level, but with the right encouragement and within the correct setting.
Dig deeper into the story
Talk about what is happening as the book goes along and ask children to predict what might happen next or why they think certain characters are behaving as they are. You can use the pictures in the book as a talking point too as often there are clues as to what’s to come! After you have finished the book, remember to ask what their favourite part was and why. This also gives children the opportunity to tell you if they didn’t like the book, so you know to choose something different next time.
Read together and regularly
It is recommended that children read for at least 10 minutes a day. Reading together allows for conversations about the book, praise for their reading and is a great way to keep track of their progress.
Create a reading area
Creating a comfortable, relaxing space where children can go and get lost in their imagination is one of the top tips to promote reading for pleasure and helps them to associate reading with relaxing.
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Be a model parent/teacher
As a parent or teacher, children look up to you so involve them in your reading too. Talk about a book that you are reading (if appropriate!), why you chose it and what you are enjoying about it. Or read your favourite book to them from when you were a child.
Listen to Audio Books
When children hear text being read fluently and confidently it helps them do the same. So, the next time you take a drive, why not put on one of your child’s favourite books and let them listen to the story.
Don’t just focus on reading books
The next time you are at the supermarket, why not give your child their own list? They can read this with your help if necessary and then search and retrieve the items. Not only does this make shopping more fun for them but helps to associate the words with the correct objects.
Make up your own stories and then read them together
This is a fun activity that can be done at home or school. The stories don’t have to be long, and you can help younger children write them out. There will be a real sense of achievement for the child when they hear their story back.
Use books as early guides for life
If a child is going through a big life event, or change, turning to a book to help explain and reassure them can be a great help. Showing that a book can offer answers in tough times and change your mood will no doubt encourage children to want to read.
You can find more information on World Book Day here. If you have any tips for encouraging reading, celebrating world book day, or recommendations for what we should read next, please let us know in the comments.