Novel Reading in Class

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  • dave131
    25 February, 2011 at 2:31
    • Total posts: 3

    I currently spend have the week reading with the kids which looks great as means I have less work to do. However I have noticed that
    1. It’s a little boring for the Kids
    2. I don’t really know if they are taking and understanding what they are reading

    I was thinking that completing a story board might be a good idea, or giving them a jumbled up storyboard. Do you know if they exist anywhere?

    Any suggestions would be brilliant.

    Thanks Dave

    25 February, 2011 at 14:21
    • Total posts: 52

    Reply To: Novel Reading in Class

    What age/level are the kids? And what sort of books are you reading? Having a teacher read to a classroom is a very teacher-centred activity and thus is likely to be boring for the students.

    Have you tried using flashcards with images from the story on them? You can draw them yourself or find some on the internet, print them out and colour them in. Rather than just reading the book, use the images to draw the kids’ attention to characters, animals, colours, whatever. Don’t just read a story straight through. Get the children involved.

    Rather than saying ‘understand?’, ask Concept Check Questions (CCQs), e.g., in the story of Little Red Riding Hood you could say "Is she in the city?" (No, she’s in the forest); "Are there trees in the forest?" (Yes); "Are there cars in the forest?" (No). These sorts of questions check that the students understand the word ‘forest’. You could also show them flashcards of a city and a forest.

    Never assume that children will understand the words. They may not have an equivalent in their country. The thing might not even exist! When teaching in Vietnam I had to tell children aged 4-6 the story of The Gingerbread Man. The first problem is that gingerbread, much less a gingerbread man, doesn’t exist in Vietnam. So, before telling the story I had to pre-teach ‘gingerbread’, e.g., "it’s a cookie; you can eat it", which enabled me to review some previously-taught structures such as "I like cookies", "Do you like cookies?", "Yes, I do" or "No, I don’t"). I also focussed on the pronunciation and showed them images.

    Hope that helps!

    26 February, 2011 at 11:03
    • Total posts: 149

    Reply To: Novel Reading in Class

    How do you do the reading at the moment.

    Raising expectations is always useful and there are a number of activities you can do to encourage speculation about the text ranging from simply writing up the title and have the class brainstorm ideas to breaking into groups and having each group work on a particular section of the text and come back together to work out the whole (Jigsaw Reading).

    Because it’s a novel and that involves Extensive Reading you can always use this to invite speculation for the next chapter, for example. Or you could have them work in groups on what happens next scenarios.

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