Posts From Julie

Let’s get reading

To wrap up a week of Facebook posts about the value of reading I wanted to finish with a post about the topic of reading. I work with students of all ages and abilities in programs for mid-high school students through to Master’s level at university. I am often asked, “How can I improve my writing?” My response is “Do you read?” Usually, the answer is “not really”. I’ll usually then ask “what about magazines?” The general response is “no, I really hate reading”.

For people who are not particularly fond of reading, watching the movie after reading the book can be useful. Many who do this say that the film is not as good as the book. However, it can also be good to watch the movie and then read the book. It can help provide images and sound to the book. For example, watching the 1995 television series “Pride and Prejudice”, starring Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, could be useful to help set the scene for the story and help with visualising the various characters. Some might argue that the television series is not on television at the moment; however, you can borrow the DVDs, or watch them in the library, and borrow the book from the library.

This process of watching a film or television series and reading the associated book can be useful for children. Dr Seus books are a favourite of young children, and there are associated books and films. An example of this is “Horton Hears a Who!”; watching the animated 2008 movie could be a reward after reading the book, or as a start to encourage reading the book. A simple game of ‘spot the difference’ can be applied here. The child can see how many differences there are between the film version and the story in the book.

Not everyone likes to read books; and for some, comics can be an excellent alternative, particularly with the recent surge of Marvel and DC movies. Once again the comic can be compared to the television series or movie and discussed to encourage and develop comprehension skills. Often ethical issues that are relevant to the modern day world are raised in a comic. Questions such as why the villain became a villain can become an interesting debate. The soon to be released “Joker” movie looks like it will present the backstory of the Joker and present the audience with a dilemma about the character.

If non-fiction is preferred making a robot or developing an experiment or planting a garden can be read about in books or magazines. There are many great project-based books in libraries and even hardware stores. These provide a wealth of activities for someone to engage in, particularly those active learners.

The benefits of reading include increasing vocabulary, developing grammar skills and encouraging questioning and creativity. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that reading before going to bed can help significantly to reduce stress.

Try completing a reading log, adults and children alike can benefit. I have a log sheet that can be downloaded and completed. Please feel welcome to click the link below, and you will be able to download the log sheet.

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