In Eastern Pennsylvania, it’s clear that Mother Nature knows its October. There’s been a definite dip in the temperature, the strong sun of September has pulled a disappearing act, and trees are looking sparser by the day. Of course, October holds a sense of mystery and excitement for all of us. Who doesn’t love the orange pumpkins, flying witches, candy corn and crazy costumes of October? This is the month of trick or treat. As parents and teachers, we often need to resort to “tricks and treats” to motivate kids to read. Here are a few suggestions to engage readers in your home or classroom.
Start a Book Club
This is a simple and fun way to get kids reading. Pull together three or more younsters and start a book club. You’ll want to begin by selecting two or three books that are “just-right” for the group in terms of level, length, and interest. After the younsters pick a book to read, then they decide how many pages to read before gathering to discuss it. You could arrange for them to meet weekly or simply wait till the end of the month (and the book!) This is a tricky way of encouraging regular reading and of course, the meeting at the end of this month should include plenty of Halloween treats.
Set a Reading Trap
Trick your youngster into reading the newspaper or magazine articles by finding some that would whet their appetite. Casually read the first few paragraphs aloud and hopefully, they will finish it themselves. The treat is the good feeling he will experience when you bring up the article in conversation and he is able to tell you all about it.
Play a Game
Gather together a slew of picture books (no matter how old the kids are). Everyone in the family has to read as many of the books as possible by a certain date.Make up a game related to the books read. You could play charades, twenty questions, or put the name of a character on everyone’s back and have them try to identify who they are by asking questions of others. The possibilities are endless. Lots of books and a little imagination can provide a treat the whole family will enjoy.
Plan now while the month is young and weave some reading magic into your Halloween celebrations.
This week I discovered two picture books that I’m happy to share with others. Perseverance is an important theme in both these books.
Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by Magaree King Mitchell tells the story of a man whose determination was only outshined by his kindness. Uncle Jed’s dream is to own a barbershop. Read it to find out what happens when a serious illness strikes his favorite niece.
Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy tells the tale of Mary Garber. Mary’s perseverance led her to become one of the first woman sportswriters and to become an agent for change in the process.