We love it when kids get excited about books. It’s never too early to start. Still in the womb- read to them! An infant, no problem, just read. A rambunctious toddler who can’t sit still and just wants to eat up the book? Keep on reading! You don’t even have to read the book word for word. Just allow them to build a positive relationship with books.
Pre-reading activities are most important and beneficial for young learners. What is done before reading plays a huge role in getting kids to better understand what they read. This technique is often used in the classroom to get kids excited about the book and getting them eager to read.
Below are some suggested ideas for pre-reading activities you can do with your kids. This can be done with any book! Specific examples are given for the book, ‘Where No One Can See Me’ written by Ukht Husni.
1. Book Cover – Let’s Predict!
Show your child the book cover. Get your child to describe it. You may use prompts like:
- Who is this boy?
- How old do you think he is?
- What do you think he is doing?
Get your child to predict what the story is about. Read the title together and you can ask your child what the boy in the picture will do next.
If your child is still very young, point out objects on the cover and name them. “This is a lollipop.”
You can also choose to talk about the named objects in greater detail.
“The lollipop is round. It has many pretty colours.”
Point to the colours and name them.
Extension Activity: Get your child to design their own book cover of the book based on the title or their prediction.
2. I spy Game
You can use the I spy game to reinforce alphabet recognition.
You can use the book cover or any random page from a book.
I spy something that begins with the letter L.
Your child can answer. Lollipop!
If you want to make it more interactive, take turns with your child. Let your child spy something and you guess.
3. Title Talk
Talk about the title together.
For example, using ‘Where No One Can See Me’, you can get your child to list places they think no one can see them.
Extension Activity: Give your child a task and get them to do it where they think no one can see them. After the task, discuss with your child about the place that was chosen and why your child thinks no one can see.
4. Word Bank
Increase their vocabulary by introducing new words you think they might not be familiar with from the book. Pick out the words and create your own flashcards together. Your child may either draw out the pictures or you can look for pictures to represent the words from magazines or the Internet.
Some words from ‘Where No One Can See Me’ can include loot bag, vultures, glumly, Al-Basir and courage.
5. Meet the Character
Draw the character (a stick figure or just the head will do) and get your child to draw any symbols or write out words that they feel are going through the character’s mind.
Possible responses might be: I didn't know chickens eat sweets! / I love Allah! / I hope the chicken doesn't finish all the sweets!
Have fun incorporating these pre-reading strategies with your kids! Spread the love of reading.