Archive for the ‘Dormant Readers’ Category

Parent Resources: Reaching the Reluctant Reader

May 25, 2010

Are you looking for ways to motivate your reluctant reader?  I want to provide parents with a list of resources they may turn to when they are looking to reach their reluctant readers.  Here are a few videos, online games, and websites to help you in your quest.


Awaken the Reader in Your Child

Donalyn Miller is a sixth grade teacher in Texas.  She is dubbed “The Book Whisperer” because she can get even the most reluctant reader to love reading.  Last summer she was interviewed by The View from the Bay.  She shares great tips on how parents can encourage their children to read.

Scholastic offers 65 book trailers (just like a movie trailer, but for a book).  Have your child watch the trailers to see what types of books interest him.


Reading Rockets – A fantastic resource for parents offering reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to aid in helping children learn how to read and read better

ReadWriteThink – Looking for engaging ways to encourage your child to read?  The International Reading Association and the National Council for Teachers of English run this expansive website of resources for parents (and teachers).

ReadKiddoRead – A website created by the author James Patterson as a way to bring parents, teachers, and librarians together in a forum dedicated to make kids readers for life.


Kidsreads – A comprehensive website that offers games, book reviews, and contests all related to children’s books.

RIF Reading Planet – In conjunction with Reading is Fundamental (RIF), this website offers games, activities, animated stories and songs, author and illustrator Q&A, books lists and more!

©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.

Motivating Readers and Writers: Books About Reading and Writing

May 20, 2010

Sometimes all it takes is one book to engage a child who may be reluctant to read.  Though it’s the end of the school year (for most), it’s never too late to try to entice a new reader.  Here are a few books that explore reading and/or writing as a topic:

Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don’t) by Barbara Bottner is a great book to show a child that not everyone enjoys reading, but there is a book in the library for everyone.  If your child is overwhelmed by the amount of books in the library or book store, read aloud this book.  Encourage him to choose books to read based on his interests.

The Jellybeans and the Big Book Bonanza by Laura Numeroff is another great book that demonstrates the power of  reading.  Similar to Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t), Anna and her friends must find a book about a thing they love in order to write a book report.  All of her friends find one, will Anna?

The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli is a great book to show children where ideas may come from for writing.  The narrator of the story wants to write the “best story” to win a prize with her favorite author.  She enlists the help of her family members for ideas, but nothing seems quite right.  Her mother reminds her that the best stories come from the heart.

Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk is an adorable book to read aloud to children.  Sam, the Mouse, lives in the Children’s Section of the library.  He loves to read and one day decides to write a book.  He places his book on the shelf for the children to find.  Will they find it?  What will they think?

For lessons related to these books, check out Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books.

Do you have innovative ways to encourage kids (specifically reluctant readers) to read?  I would love to hear them!

©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.

It’s All About the Play: Reader’s Theater for Dormant and Emergent Readers

January 26, 2010

I’ve been posting about literacy based games this month.  Reader’s Theater is not actually a game, but kids have fun participating in it!

Reader’s Theater is a dramatic adaptation of a piece of literature.  It typically involves children writing a script based on a book and then a dramatic read aloud of the script.  Reader’s Theater is great for children’s communication skills.  It provides an opportunity for them to develop fluency (when reading aloud) and collaboration skills (when working together to create a script).  In addition, children learn to read with expression.  Read what Reading Rockets and Scholastic have to say about Reader’s Theater.

Reader’s Theater can be motivational to dormant readers. **  Dormant readers are typically your children who do well, but who are not intrinsically motivated to read on their own.  Instead of having to read a whole book, the reader only needs to read parts of the book (really, the script, which is often shortened from the original text) with expression.  I bet you will find that a dormant reader might actually enjoy reading when he is able to express himself a bit.

Reader’s Theater can be fun and engaging for preschoolers as well.  Of course, I’m sure you are wondering how preschoolers are supposed to act out a script if they can’t read it!  Well, parents or teachers can read aloud the script and the children can act out bit parts.  For example, Michigan’s “Michigan Reads” initiative provides a Reader’s Theater script for preschoolers called “Barnyard Song.”  An adult narrates the story and the children act as the animals by “reading” the animal sound.  There are even animal masks provided!  (Typically, props and costumes are not used in Reader’s Theater, but I think at the preschool age, masks will definitely make the experience more hands-on and fun!)

Reader’s Theater can be a motivating reading activity for dormant readers and an engaging activity for emergent readers.  Check out the web, there are a ton of resources for Reader’s Theater scripts already there, or make a script based on your child’s favorite book.  Consider planning a Reader’s Theater experience for your next playgroup meeting.   I bet your preschoolers will have fun. . . and they will learn from it, too!

** For more information on dormant readers, I recommend reading The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller.  This is a fantastic resource for parents and educators.**

©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.