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Reading as a Contact Sport

Posted by jael on Oct 8, 2010 in Education, Parenting

Reading can be more fun than TV and tastier than buttermilk waffles with butter and maple syrup if you know some simple secrets to engage your child.

Children’s literature is inherently musical and packed with refrains.  It begs to be sung, drummed and acted.  The more active your child becomes in a story, the more fun he discovers reading can be…

a.)    Sing It!  Preview book to identify its refrains, once found, link them to the melody of a popular children’s song that you and your child can sing together every time it appears in the book (to tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, “Brown bear, brown bear what do you see?  I see children looking at me.”

b.)    Perform It!  Preview book for major plot points.  Organize props so that children can act out book as it is read. (Stone Soup: gather wooden spoon, pot, and pictures of featured vegetables, allow child to stir soup and add vegetables as they occur in book.)

c.)    Put it on Stage!  Allow children to use hand puppet and theater to perform book after it has been read.

d.)   Record Autobiographical Entries: Write brief accounts of daily events you have enjoyed with your child.  Let him practice his reading and block it for performance.  Practice together to perform when other family members return home.  Save entries for keepsake book.  (Sledding:  Greet Daddy at the door  in hat, coat and scarf when he gets home and take him for a ride in Living Room Park.  His ticket to ride- an envelope with child’s story inside!

e.)    Pick it Up and Put it Down!  The rhythm of children’s lit makes it a natural to be produced as an exercise video.  Identify the actions (verbs) of the book and turn it into an exercise routine.

f.)     Simple Signs!  Classics like Goodnight Moon invitie sign language education.  Teach child the ASL signs which correspond with the main words/refrains of a book.

g.)    Turn it Into Art:  Children love to paint and draw.  Let them illustrate their key scenes from their favorite reads.

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with a book in our hands and a skip in our step, with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

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