One way to motivate readers is to provide children with informational texts that match a fiction book they may enjoy reading. Or vice versa. Mary Pope Osborne provides informational guides that correspond with her fiction books in her series of Magic Tree House Books (Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon), perfect for early readers. At the preschool age, especially, we tend to read more fiction to our children. Yet, children tend to crave basic information about topics as well. I like to pair fiction reading with informational reading. By reading aloud a fiction book and following up with an informational read aloud, parents can meet both needs of their child. Sometimes, you may want to read the informational text first to build background knowledge of the topic. To extend the learning beyond reading, I often pair a craft or activity that complements the topic we are reading about.
“Book Buddies” with corresponding activities:
Activity: Put plastic doll feet in black paint and place on white paper to make footprints in the snow
Activity: Take small toy trucks and run the wheels through paint. Place the wheels all over a sheet of paper for a “Things that Go” piece of artwork. Try to find cars and trucks with different treads.
My Garden by Kevin Henkes and Let’s Go Gardening: A Young Person’s Guide to the Garden by Ursula Kruger
Activity: Place soil inside a large plastic, see through bag. Place seeds in the soil and spray water inside the bag. Tape the bag to a window that receives sun. Monitor the new plant that grows.
Would you like to purchase pre-made Book Buddy Bags? Each bag comes with a fiction and nonfiction text, a hands-on activity and a resource guide for parents. Book Buddy Bags are perfect for gifts, homeschool activities, and travel!
Do you have innovative ways to encourage kids (specifically reluctant readers) to read? I would love to hear them!
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