Monday, 6 July 2015

Developing a Love of Reading

My summer holiday started this Tuesday. Since then, I’ve forgotten about work and blogging…I've been too busy riding my bike through the forest, relaxing in my hammock on the sunny beach, or playing Terra Mystica with my friends. But tonight I found this awesome linkup! It's called Story Sunday and it is hosted by Lifelong Learning.

So…here are my thoughts :)

Strategies for Encouraging a Love of Reading

I love reading and I hope to spread this love to my pupils. I’ve been teaching very young kids (who can’t read, but who enjoy being read to), whose mother tongue isn’t English.

It was a bit hard for me to motivate them in the beginning, because all the other teachers read to them in their mother tongue, while I’m the only one using English. But I’ve finally found something that they all love! Puppets’ shows and dramatizations are among their favourite activities now. We’ve made masks, used costumes and props that we could find in the daycare and acted the stories out. Of course, we started with very basic stories, even stories that they had already read with their parents.

Classic fairy tales are great for that – most pupils have read them in their mother tongue, so they know the plot quite well. The first one that we chose was The Little Red Riding Hood, then Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Town Musicians of Bremen, and Jack and the Beanstalk. For next autumn I’m planning an adaptation of The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. I can’t wait – I’m sure the kids will love it!

After the first story that we acted out, I’ve noticed kids reading more often during free play. The next day, they sat down together in pairs and “read” and talked about the images in the books and about the characters they would like to be when we’ll act the story out. Even the parents told me that the kids have been talking about our mini-plays at home. :)

Books that have inspired me

I’ve read a couple of books by Lawrence Cohen and I can honestly say that they have helped me a lot. The author talks about playful ways of dealing with anxieties, fears, and behavioural problems, or just establishing close connections with the children around you. Playful Parenting and The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears will give you lots of useful ideas on how to communicate with children.

There are lots of books that have been of great help in my career, but these are the latest I’ve read.

A great book for teachers and parents to read to children is The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds. Some children lack the confidence to do things by themselves, because they might have been criticized in the past, or just because they are doing something for the very first time.

It’s our job, as teachers and parents, to help kids cultivate their self-esteem, to encourage them in what they try to do by themselves. Kids learn by doing: even if at first they might fail, they need to try again and again, until they succeed. Kids who are confident and who know their strengths will be more positive and won’t give up easily.

This is what “The Dot” is about: not being afraid of expressing yourself. It’s a heartwarming story that makes us realize what impact our words have on the kids.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

What strategies do you have to encourage kids to read?

What books have inspired you?


  1. I love the idea of using familiar stories and dramatization! Thanks for linking up!

  2. Thanks for the opportunity of participating! :)