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Do children read story books? How do you manage it? Here are some ideas to manage your literature time and book report. Let's build reading habits. Getting kids to love reading is something difficult for us, but we still urge kids to read books since reading is the key to a lot of knowledge. Therefore, reading literature, especially the classical fiction, regularly is our effort to get them learn moral from stories. Here are our literature and book report routine as a way to get them love reading:
The first step is introductory step where children are introduced into the background of the story. Of course I should have read the stories first. Knowing the main place and time settings is very useful for kids to comprehend the stories. If I haven't read the stories, I will guess together with them what the stories about, when and where they happen from the cover or the pictures in the book. This step usually don't take a long time to do.
The second step is the reading time. Reading classical stories will take more than one lesson's time. We divide one story into the chapters. It can be said that one chapter at a time. Every reading time we have
- Difficult words or vocabulary scanning when kids try to grab new or difficult words at a glance. Kids pick the words, identifying what parts of speech they belong, define the meaning, and make sentences using those words.
- Silent reading time or reading with kids. Ken can read the stories independently. Tom tries to do it independently, but I still have to sit next to him to make sure that he won't sneak off. We still need to read the stories to Jim as the letters are still too small for him.
- Reading journal writing. Kids write the plot of the chapter or the most important points of the stories. It is used to get them remember what they have read. In this step I check their comprehension also. Not all kids can do this step independently. Ken can do it by himself. Tom is a very reluctant writer. We use some pictures to get him retelling the story. Next, I ask him to write what he has retold . It is a great progress for him. At least he still can write by himself. Last year I still had to write for him before he copied it down.
The third step is reading response time. We do this step either chapter by chapter or as a whole book. It depends on how engaged they are to the story. For us, in this stage reading response is different from reading journal. In reading journal we just write down what the chapters about or take a note of what happen in the story, but reading response is writing down what we have in our mind or what we think about the chapters or the stories, whether it is about our opinion, prediction, or related experience. We usually use some prompts provided in some links bellow:
Reading Response Prompts From Jimmie
I like this prompts as it can be displayed well on the board and or as a mini office.
Reading Response Bookmark in Busy Teacher's Cafe
This bookmark is not colourful, but it is has nice sentence starters to start the writing.
Colorful Reading Response Bookmark
This bookmark doesn't have as many prompts as the previous ones, but I like the colorful style.
Reading response will help them appreciate and comprehend the piece of literature. It will motivate them to love reading and to read more books. The reading response will show us how children's reading experience with the stories. By reading the response, children will be reminded of the memory when they read it previously. One day their opinion and response will be different from what they have written. The way we do it is also different with each kids. There is a time when Tom can write by himself, but there is also a time when he looks very restless and lazy to write by himself. I write for him while he is talking. Sometimes when he is in a better mood or when he likes the story a lot, I will get him write by himself. I am still flexible with him in this case as I don't want him to hate reading just because he has to write. However, I have higher expectation toward Ken as he has stepped on his logic state definitely. He should write by himself although he still made some spelling and grammatical mistakes (like me 😉 )
The last thing we do is book report. It is more like a story catalog for us. The reports show the factual and the objective elements of the stories. There are usually the elements of title, author, characters, settings, plots and more detail elements, such as suspense, conflict, foreshadowing, etc. It is like the big picture of the story. It is quite classical I think. Some people say that book reports can use many kinds of model, but we keep on the classical mode. Here is the links for the classical book report like what we usually do:
Book Reports from Busy Teacher's Cafe
There are some levels of book report forms in this link.
Bogglesworldesl Book Reports and Chapter Summary
It might look old fashioned, but it works for us to make a kind of catalog or a collection of reading list.
Here are the links for book report alternatives:
A book or a piece of literature should have got some messages for the readers. Some children can get the message very easily, while others need help from parents to get the message translated in the real world. Having some discussion with your children will help them to get the literature more meaningful.