Activities in The Library to Encourage Reading for Pleasure

Most often we tend to associate libraries with simply finding books and borrowing them to read. But how do children who don’t associate much with reading, see libraries? Perhaps a boring place filled with books. Everyone is quiet and with heads bent, nose deep into books. It pales in comparison to what ever activity they enjoy most- playing a video game, watching TV or perhaps even playing with friends outside.

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What if all that action and play can be brought to the library, with poems?

Poems to encourage children to read? Jason Reynolds, the New York Times Best Selling Author in this famous broadcast, beautifully explains how poetry can be less daunting for especially children who are reluctant to read for a number of reasons. He points out that sometimes it is not the subject of the book, the voice or point of view, but something more obvious- the number of words on the page. The amount of text in a page determines whether a child is likely to read the text willingly. For some, more number of words in a page, makes the prospect of reading more daunting. Poetry enables the same story to be told in a lesser number of words, yet meaningfully. To listen to the entire broadcast, tune into How Poetry Can Turn Kids’ Fear of Literature into Love.

Mrs. Poonam Sethi, a kindergarten teacher with 38 years experience, adds that poetry has rhythm which makes it a lot easier for children to absorb new words and remember them. Most children are used to hearing more of their mother tongue at home than English, she says, before they join school. As a result, grasping the new language in school becomes difficult. Introducing the language in the form of poems make it less cumbersome to learn the language.  For a child who is learning to read, rhyming words go a long way in boosting confidence in reading. He or she needs to learn one word and poems offer several rhyming words that sound a lot similar and hence easy to learn.

 

Introducing the language in the form of poems make it less cumbersome to learn the language.

Poetry Combined With Play

Poems in isolation may not completely have the desired effect of enabling children to enjoy reading. They must be combined with discussion and even playful activities to enable children to associate reading with fun. This can be done in classrooms, homes and even in school, private and public libraries.

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A ready reckoner is available right away covering ordinary, yet engaging concepts such as posting a letter, it’s journey afterward, the fact that the police exist to protect us but must be contacted only during emergency,  role of money and banking etc. “Fun With Poems” is a comprehensive resource that contains poems to enable children learn all about post office, banks, money etc. along with discussion points and enjoyable activities that can be easily organised. These activities have a lot of scope for role play and that, Mrs.Poonam observes, has enabled even the quiet children to forget their inhibitions and actively participate. While this book enables children to learn about a wide variety of facts, it also reinforces a positive association with literature in general.

These activities have a lot of scope for role play which enables even the quiet children to forget their inhibitions and actively participate-Mrs.Poonam Sethi.

Look inside: 

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The sample ends here.

Wondering how to interest your child in reading? Try poetry

“Poetry? Isn’t that too literary?” You ask. Of course it is literary but unlike a typical story, it has got lesser text and hence is less daunting especially for a child who dislikes reading for a variety of reasons. What’s more, poems have rhyming words, making reading a lot easier. If your child knows how to read one word, then a couple of more words that sound a lot like that one, become easier to read. Rhythm in poetry enables your child to even have a tune if he or she likes and well why not, they can even sing a poem, if singing makes them feel happy. It is a wonderful way to learn reading.

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Mrs. Poonam Sethi, a kindergarten teacher with 38 years of experience in the field, vouches for the role that poetry has played in her classroom. Year after year, children learn a lot of poems with her. They recite together, discuss it and even participate in activities based on the poems. Observing that children enjoy poems, Mrs. Poonam started to write her own poetry at times when she could not find something apt for her daily lesson plan. Over time, it all got together and became big enough to become a book.

The book has poems on ordinary, yet important concepts such as posting a letter, its journey onwards, the role of the police in protecting us and how they must be contacted only in times of emergency and so on. Supplemented with discussion points and theme based activities for play, this book serves as a comprehensive resource in the kindergarten classroom as well as at home.

In collaboration with MerryGoBooks, her illustrated book of  “Fun With Poems” is now available for order. Bonus! You can have this beautifully illustrated book of poems with your child’s name on the cover! Get your copy here.