Read Across America Day holds a special place in my heart because, not only am I an avid reader, it also marks the birthday celebration of the beloved Dr. Seuss. I remember having tons of Dr. Seuss books as a kid and how they captivated me as a young reader. Following are three genres that you can use to help instill a love of reading in your children, and set them up to be lifelong readers. I successfully use them in the classroom with my elementary students.
Autobiography is a self-written memoir or life story. Find a role model a child is really interested in and see if he or she has written an autobiography. After your child has read the autobiography, have him create a book report paraphrasing what he learned. This allows the child to read about a person of interest, gain an understanding of what he read, and describe it in his own words. Have him create a collage of the person’s life, or even a timeline of historical events. By reading and studying about others, children can see how their lives compare to other people’s. They also get a hands-on approach to organizing information and understanding facts.
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Biography is the story of a real person’s life, written by another person. Children can read a variety of biographies and then recreate their own. They can create a biography of a school friend to let the rest of their classmates know who this person really is and what he’s like. Children get to know one another better through such activities. They can generate questions to better understand what they are reading, and identify the purpose of this particular genre.
Folktales are stories passed on from generation to generation. Folktales can really foster a love for reading and nurture creativity, and children can create their own folktales. Kids can take part in a shared reading in which teacher and students read a text aloud together. This is a great way for kids to become skilled readers, and improve oral skills as they read in a group setting. Children can do so many things with this genre including making predictions, understanding sequencing, and classifying and categorizing characters.
While there are many other genres that can promote the love of reading to last a lifetime, these three just happen to be my favorites. Ultimately, any topic or style of writing that sparks your child’s interest and gets him read a book is the one that will do the most to foster a love of literature in your little one!
What are some genres that get you excited about reading?