This semester, students in READ 6310 Children and Adolescent Literature were asked to contribute a post to this blog.
By L. Ramos
Incorporating and promoting literacy in and out of school is crucial in motivating and encouraging story time. Implementing a variety of ways to induce literacy in every child may inspire parents and caregivers into story time too. Short activities before, during, or after reading may engage children into the desire to look at and use books for interest and enjoyment. Children’s imagination is a key element in jump starting a love for books. In doing so, literary activities are mere extensions of the reading essentials needed to promote literacy. Here are some useful motivational literary activities:
Finish It Your Way!
Read a short story, poem, or nursery rhyme. Ask students about how they would change the ending. Have students write their ending and add their own illustrations to demonstrate their response. Allow them to share their responses. This activity promotes critical thinking.
Puppets. Puppets, Puppets!
Read a short story or play. Use puppets to act out the scenes to engage children kinesthetically, visually, and orally. Puppets are extremely useful in conveying role playing to express feelings and/or scenarios allowing open discussion and interactions among the children and the characters.
In Other Words…
Do a picture walk using a picture book. Create your own story using its pictures. Then allow students to tell or write their own tale about the picture book. It’s also a great way to reinforce grammar and spelling rules.
Speak Right Up!
A microphone is a great way to allow the child to express himself/herself using oral language. The student may assume the role of a character in a story or respond to literary questions using the microphone. They can also be placed in the reading center for motivational/expressive read alouds.
Bring a snack to class like cookies, crackers, or cereal, etc. Give each student a piece of a snack. Have each student describe the color, smell, appearance, texture, and taste. Students may write a descriptive paragraph to promote descriptive writing. A T-Chart or Venn Diagram can also be created to differentiate snacks too.
Create a reading area with pillows, a small chair, a rocker, a small sofa, a tent, bean bags, etc. This allows children to be comfortable and read with their peers making it fun, engaging, and motivational for all!
Ask students to draw each family member’s face and/or their friends. Each face is to be drawn and colored on an individual paper. When done, they will write a story using each member or friend as a character. Great for a multicultural activity!
Online Reading Games
Exposing children to online reading games broadens literacy further by making it exciting and interesting. By combining reading and fun, it will engage students by motivating him/her towards story time. Online reading games reinforces phonemic awareness, spelling, punctuation, blending, sentence structures, and much more!
With these ideas in mind, story time can be engaging, interesting, and motivating for all children of different learning styles. By promoting different literary activities, children can become happy, fluent readers. They can all be embedded within the school setting and at home allowing children to have access to a variety of literary elements.