Motivating Readers with Real World Activities

This month on Literacy Toolbox, I will share ways parents and educators can motivate children to become readers and writers.  This is especially necessary at the beginning of the school year when teachers are building their classroom communities.

One of my favorite ways to motivate readers is to tie books into the real world.  Think about it.  There are books for just about everything out there.  I love to match books to the activities we do.

This summer we have taken day trips to Monticello, Hershey Park, and The National Building Museum.  After our day trips, my kids usually like to learn more about the places we’ve visited.  That’s a perfect opportunity to find books and read more about what interests them.


The former home of Thomas Jefferson is located in Virginia.  My son has had an interest in Presidents since he began learning about coins in kindergarten.  I figured it was time to take him to see the home of a former President.  Monticello actually offers family friendly tours specific to kids ages 6-11, which I highly recommend.  Even my 4 year old enjoyed the tour.

After the tour, we chose a few books about Monticello and Thomas Jefferson to read:

Thomas Jefferson by Cheryl Harness

A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson by David A. Adler

Monticello (All Aboard America) by Sarah Tieck

Hershey Park

My kids have wanted to travel to Hershey Park for a couple of years.  We finally made it this summer!  Our favorite part was the tour through Chocolate World to see how chocolate is made.  Yum!

Afterwards, my son wanted to learn more about Milton Hershey, so we found this book:

Milton Hershey (Lives and Times) by Jennifer Blizen Gillis

The National Building Museum

Our most recent excursion was to The National Building Museum where we had the opportunity to see Lego® Architecture: Towering Ambition, an awesome exhibit of 15 buildings from around the world made up entirely of legos, by Adam Reed Tucker.  Super cool!  Buildings included 2 World Trade Center, The Empire State Building, The Sears Tower (now the Wilcox Tower), Trump Towers in Chicago and more!   We had never been to this museum before and we enjoyed exploring the architecture of the building as well.  This was a hit with my lego loving boy!

Afterwards, we learned more about structures and legos through these books:

Everyday Structures from A to Z by Bobbie Kalman

The LEGO Book by Daniel Lipkowitz

What are some ways you motivate readers in your life?

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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2 Responses to “Motivating Readers with Real World Activities”

  1. Tweets that mention Motivating Readers with Real World Activities « Literacy Toolbox -- Says:

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  2. Tips to Increase Family Literacy « Literacy Toolbox Says:

    […] books based on the topic, find a family friendly field trip related to the topic.  Read how to motivate readers with real world activities, motivate readers with musicals, or make cultural arts […]

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