Being the great parent you are, you encourage your child to read. You take them to the library to find something that will suit their interests. Or you might take your lovely child to a bookstore and ask for recommendations from the friendly staff. You bring the book home, your child reads a few chapters and then it collects dust on the shelf. Then, you get frustrated because they aren’t reading!
Turn it around by engaging with a book as a family! Choose a book that reflects the the age(s) and interests of your kid(s) and then create a family activity that helps everyone engage in the book.
There are a plethora of ways you can engage you and your loved ones with books. Below are a few ways that are tried and true in the classroom and will definitely work at home too!
The Lit Circle
A classroom classic. In a literature circle, everyone is responsible a different role in the discussion each time you meet to discuss the book. Roles range from ‘Connector,’ to ‘Illustrator’ and you can have a lot of fun with them. I suggest chunking the book into manageable sections to ensure you get through the book at a good pace — quick enough to stave off boredom, and not too quick to avoid skimming. There are a tonne of online resources that can help you pick the perfect roles for you and the fam!
Most kids love to make presentations on the computer (or Bristol board) and show what they know —- why not capitalize on this? You could ask your child to make a presentation about one of the characters or their favourite part.
If your children are the theatrical type, have them perform their favourite scene! They can pick out costumes, make set pieces, and write lines where necessary. This is a great way to encourage a deeper understanding of the book and a lot of kids love this hands-on type of learning!
Fam-Jam Book Club
A book club is a great environment for kids to share their thoughts and ideas about a book and, for you to model what that looks like. Sometimes it’s best to have a series of thought-provoking questions that your family can answer about the book — favourite characters, most hated character, thoughts about the ending, etc. — to get the conversation flowing. You can choose to do this once at the end of the book or a few times during the course of the book. Snacks are always encouraged!