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Top Tips for Teaching Reading

To celebrate the launch of our reading intervention programme, Love to Read, we’ve compiled our top tips for teaching reading. Read on to find out more.

Explore other reading options – not just books

top tips for readingWhen teaching reading don’t be afraid to allow children, especially ones who are not engaging with reading, to explore alternative texts. Reading is not just limited to chapter books alone. There are lots of alternative texts children can choose from to learn to read; graphic novels, comic books, e-books, magazines, blogs and more. Find something that connects with the child’s passions and sparks their interest, this will make reading a more fun and appealing activity. In addition, discover what the child might read for pleasure and incorporate this into classroom learning. This can prove really motivating for reluctant readers.

Focus on comprehension

Talk to the children about what they are reading before, during and after a reading practice. Encourage the child to re-tell the story, ask questions and discuss the characters. These insights will help to keep the child focussed and prompt a deeper understanding of the text. Ask the child to summarise key events in the story and make predictions about the ending – these can then be revisited and reflected upon when finishing the story. What did they enjoy about the book? Ask them to mark it out 5. Similarly, you can connect reading to writing exercises to further deepen understanding. Ask the child to write a book review or complete comprehension tasks based on the story they’ve just read.

Consider the reading environment

top tips for readingBuild a positive and vibrant reading environment for children. Above all, a place where students feel comfortable and relaxed can really help to boost engagement in struggling readers. Have a wide selection of books and other reading texts available to choose from, fiction and non-fiction. Let children explore and discover what they want to read.

Support children when choosing books

Help children to choose books that spark their passions and align with their interests. Too often we are forcing reading into children’s hands that does not interest them at all. By asking the children what interests and excites them, we can help them to choose books that suit their individual learning journey. Encourage children to choose books carefully, help them explore the title (Does this interest me?), the front cover (What do I think this story is about?), and the author (Have I read other books by this author?). They might want to ‘dip in’ and read a page to see if they like it or are able to read it? Encourage them to check in with a teacher, or parent, if they think the book/text might be too hard to read.

Let reading become lively

top tips for readingReading doesn’t have to be a quiet, isolating experience. Let reading become lively and it can really help to motivate reluctant readers. Collaborative group discussions are a great start. Get the children talking in groups about their favourite books. Creating dramatic interpretations of key events can be a great way to engage the children. Likewise, creating and reciting poems about the characters and finding music that captures the mood of the story are all ways to make reading a fun and interactive activity.

Love to Read

Love to Read was developed to work in partnership with schools to overcome literacy difficulties that affect the life chances of children, young people and adults. The programme has helped to more than double the progress of typically developing learners, boosting reading ages by 2 years over the course of just 10 weeks. Love to Read uses a book-based approach to support learners in their reading, enabling them to activate both dimensions of reading – word recognition processes (including phonics) and language comprehension processes.

If you would like to find out more about our Love to Read programmes, or becoming a Love to Read trained tutor, click here.