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Reading Activities for Pupils

Research has shown the importance of reading and all the benefits it has from such a young age. However, if a child has a negative association with reading or there are barriers in place, such as a lack of support from home or learning difficulties, there are several strategies that teachers can adopt to make reading an enjoyable experience for all. 

How Can Teachers Make Reading Fun for Everyone?

Every single child is different and it is important to celebrate their differences and tailor lesson plans to keep everyone engaged. In addition to reading, teachers can include reading activities to make sure every child is catered for. 

Here is a List of Fun Reading Activities that you can Include in your Lesson Plan:

Playing a game makes reading enjoyable for the vast amount of students. Therefore, we have made a list of the top 3 reading games for your students:

  1. Concentration 

How to: Select five to ten words from a book (or books) the child is reading. Print each word clearly and boldly on separate 3 x 5 inch index cards, making pairs of each word. 

To play: Shuffle the cards and place them face down in neat rows. Take turns turning up  two cards at a time and reading the words out loud. If the two cards match, the player keeps them and takes a second turn. If they do not match, the cards are replaced face down and the next player takes a turn. 

Play until all the cards are matched. The player with the most pairs wins. If the child has trouble recognizing a word, say the word — do not ask the child to “sound out” the word. The purpose of this game is to build automatic recognition of whole words.

You can control the difficulty of the game by the choice and number of words used: for very beginning readers, choose meaningful words that are visually distinctive: “ghost”, “dark”, “sister”, and keep the number of words low. For a more challenging game, include some words that are less distinctive: “when”, “what”, “this”, “that”, but be careful not to overwhelm the child.

  1. Go Fish

How to: Select 10 to 20 words from a book (or books) the child is reading. Print the words clearly and boldly on separate 3 x 5 inch index cards, making pairs of each word. Two to four players can play this game.

To Play: Shuffle and deal three to five cards to each player. Place the rest of the deck face down. Players take turns asking each other for a card to match one held in his or her hand. If the opponent has a matching card, it is given over, and the first player takes another turn. 

If the opponent does not have a match, he or she says “Go Fish” and the player draws from the remaining deck of cards, and the next player takes a turn. Each time a player has a match, he or she reads the words, and puts down the pair, face up. Continue the game until the cards are all used up.

Instead of matching words, rhyming words can be used. In this case, players ask for “a word that sounds like ‘night’…” At the end, the child can earn extra points by dictating or writing additional words that rhyme with the base words, or creating “silly” sentences using the rhymes.

  1. Rhyming Games 

Play rhyming games to teach about the patterns in words. Try the following, for example, for words in the same family as the word black:

Introduce a poem or rhyming story such as Miss Mary Mack:Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mackall dressed in black, black, black

with silver buttons, buttons, buttonsup and down her back, back, back…

Encourage the child to point out words in books that have a similar spelling pattern as in black.

Help the child think of other words that have this pattern. You may have to write a few words for him or her:sackpackstack

Then have the child read the whole word and underline the repeated part of the word, “ack.”

Using magnetic letters or Scrabble pieces, form a word with the “ack” pattern. Ask the student to change the first letter of the word (for example: ‘s’ in sack) to make a new word, such as pack. You should be sure to provide a limited number of letters (two or three at first) for the child to choose from. 

Remember to choose a word pattern that is useful and important to the student and that relates to something that he or she has read or will read. If possible, start with a word he or she already knows in the word family. After reading a book about being sad, for example, start with the word “cry” and then follow with “fry”, “try”, and “wry”.

Remember to review the word families you’ve chosen to work on periodically by playing some of the other games described above.

Be sure to give the student a chance to go back to a book, poem, or other texts where he or she can apply this new reading skills. Poems, nursery rhymes, and jump rope jingles are a great resource for early readers.

We offer a wide selection of reading books here at Laburnum House, from nursery to secondary school. Check out our half price school books here.

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