Winning! Read for Fun and Learn at the Same Time
What kind of books do the kiddos look for when they go to the bookstore or library? When we go to the bookstore, unless we have a list of books we’re looking for, we tend to eye each book binder one by one. A completely inefficient system but one I endure for several reasons. First, we still like the feel of paper as we turn a page which is why we don’t always buy e-books. Second, I rather like the idea of the kiddos walking around in the smell of freshly printed paper and ink released from cardboard boxes as they walk up and down the aisles choosing which story they want to get lost in next. A study recently released by Scholastic found that nearly three-quarters of both boys and girls (73%) say they would read more if they could find more books they like. The study also found that when picking out books to read for fun children (ages 6-17) look for books that:
- make them laugh
- have a mystery or problem to solve
- tell a true story
- are about things they experience in real life
- have characters that look like them
High School and Middle
Got a tween or teen assigned to read Romeo and Juliet but the play just hasn’t piqued their interest? Try having them read Sharon Drapers Romiette and Julio first. This may help the play make more sense and you can ask them to think about and discuss with you what similarities and difference they found in the stories.
When Romiette Cappelle meets Julio Montague, she feels as though she has met the soul mate who can rescue her from her recurring nightmare about fire and water. But like the Shakespearean characters whose names echo theirs, Romiette and Julio discover that not everyone approves of their budding romance. In their case, it is because Romiette is African-American and Julio is Hispanic, and the Devildogs, a dangerous local gang, violently oppose their interracial relationship.
When the Devildogs threaten to teach them a lesson, Romiette and Julio come up with a risky plan to escape from the gang's fearsome shadow. But things go terribly awry, and the two find themselves caught up in a deadly reality more frightening that Romiette's nightmare -- and in a desperate struggle to avoid the tragic fate of Shakespeare's famous young lovers.
ElementaryAre your whiz kids learning American geography? Pull out a map and a book with this activity. Use this book guide to “travel" across a map of the U.S. by reading a book that takes place in each of the states. For example: South Carolina – The Secret of Gumbo Jingle Dancer
New Jersey - Me, Mop, and the Moondance Kid
Make use of Google Lit Trips. This cool site offers geographic links to books. Have your kiddo see if they like a book from their K-5 booklist. Download Google Earth As you read the book the Google Earth feature will offer information about the places in the book. A spectacular way to combine learning about earth and reading at the same time!! Abuela Abuela is the story of Rosalba and her Abuela (grandmother) and the adventure they have together. The book beautifully shows scenes from their adventure flying above and around New York City.
Brothers in Hope