5 Effective Ways to Inspire Children's Passion for Books
Nowadays, we see children who readily pick up an iPad instead of a book. It seems that reading is not as popular as it used to be. It is lessening. Reading is a receptive skill, and it is a meaningful activity that should be enjoyed by all children. So how can we instill a love for reading in children? As a person who has a passion for reading, I would like to make some recommendations.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author, an alumni of ITTT (International TEFL and TESOL Training). They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of ITTT. The content provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as official endorsement or representation by ITTT.
Teach the Importance of Reading
Reading has many benefits.Among other things, it can promote an increase in vocabulary and comprehension skills and better memory and focus. If a child has no reason or motivation to read, they will do it less often. By having this discussion, they can learn why reading is worthwhile and come up with personal motivation to read. It is also good to get kids reading early on, so it can develop as a habit or a hobby.
Make Books Accessible or Low-Cost
My love for reading would not have blossomed if I were not able to get my hands on books! If people can maintain easy access to books, then they are more willing to read. Have a bookshelf around the house with all the kids’ favorites. Public libraries and “free little libraries” are great for the community. At schools, books should be free or affordable, especially for low-income students.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Many people like rewards, including children. If children are rewarded for a certain behavior, they are more likely to continue that behavior in the future. Positive reinforcement can come in the form of praise, a gesture (i.e., a high five or a hug), or a physical reward like stickers and prizes. My elementary school used to have a reward system for reading books. The more books you read, the more points and prizes you can earn. It was a fun and engaging way to encourage students to read. You can also reward children with a treat or something they like.
Assess Reading Activity and Performance
Parents and teachers can work together to look at these things. If a child is struggling to read, both parties can come up with a plan to help the child read more effectively. In the classroom, teachers can play audiotapes and have students follow along, or they can have them “popcorn read” (students read a line or paragraph and call on another student to continue reading).
Teachers can guide the students and help them with pronunciation or understanding. Teachers can also meet with a student individually to try to pinpoint any reading problems and administer an assessment to determine appropriate reading levels. A
t home, parents can read bedtime stories together and select books of different genres to expose the child to a variety of texts. Parents can also be role models. If a parent reads for fun on their own, a child who observes that behavior will come to associate reading as something that is good. Try to read in many contexts and places (e.g., at the park or on a road trip), and the child may follow suit.
Make Reading Fun!
Reading should not feel like a chore or a forced, unenjoyable activity. There are a number of ways to switch and spice things up! In the classroom, teachers can have students do a show-and-tell of their favorite book. They can practice vocabulary or storytelling with flashcards and games. Families can buy books that pique the child’s interest. I have seen books that light up, play music, or have some sort of interactive feature that makes the child enjoy reading that particular book. It is all about finding ways to remind children that reading can be fun, so they can look forward to reading.
In conclusion, fostering a love for reading in children is a powerful gift that will serve them throughout their lives. By teaching them the importance of reading, making books accessible, using positive reinforcement, assessing their reading activities, and making reading a fun and enjoyable experience, we can ignite their passion for books and open up a world of knowledge and imagination. As parents, teachers, and caregivers, it is our responsibility to nurture this love for reading and encourage children to embark on countless literary adventures. Let us join hands in creating a generation of avid readers who will not only cherish the written word but also thrive in a world enriched by the wonders of literature.
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