Reading is one of the most fundamental and important skills people can possess; however the statistics on illiteracy are staggering. One in every four school-aged children cannot read, or is unable to read at a functional level in the United States alone. Approximately 43% of adults living at or below the poverty level have low reading comprehension skills, and 85% of juveniles who have dealings with the juvenile courts system are either illiterate or at a low comprehension level. As educators, it is extremely important that new, creative teaching techniques be used to help children read. By implementing new methods and strengthening those that are already in place, we can ensure the literacy rate increases, and our students are able to read and write at the appropriate level.
How to read-teaching strategies
There are many different strategies involved in teaching students to read. Consider the set up of the room, and make reading comfortable for them. Word and letter boards show children the way letters look as well as how they sound. Phonics is a popular teaching method, and helps students learn how to properly sound out words they read. Engage the class in a thoughtful, creative way, and check up on each student’s progress regularly so no one falls behind. Picture and word association is also essential.
- Grade 4 Strategies – This comprehensive guide offers many strategies for reading comprehension in 4th graders.
- Reading as a Process – A solid guide for teaching reading as a process in the classroom.
- In-Depth Guide – A very in-depth strategy guide as well as references at the end, to help teachers with their strategies.
Reading Lesson Plans
Teaching younger students to read can be a real challenge. Often, the ability to relate words to thoughts, feelings, and objects can be difficult, particularly when more advanced reading comes into play. Through lesson plans, teachers can develop some kind of classroom structure, making the comprehension process easier. Utilizing these lesson plans makes it easier for teachers, and helps students associate what they are reading with various themes and thoughts much better.
- Digging Deeper – For grades K-4, this lesson plan teaches students to go further than just reading a book or story and dig deeper to understand more.
- Super Why! Lesson Plans – This successful TV show also has lesson plans teachers can use to help teach elementary school kids reading and comprehension.
- Letterbox Lesson – This lesson plan focuses on phonics for younger grades.
Games are especially effective when it comes to helping children learn to read. Reading related every grade level could play games, from elementary grades all the way to high school. Finding quality games for at home and in the classroom can really enhance the learning experience. Children tend to learn by doing, and this applies to reading as well as any other subject. Look for games that cover the basics of reading as well as emphasize understanding what the students are reading.
- Scrambled Family –This word jumble game shows students how to properly spell different family related names and is great for both comprehension and proper spelling.
- Mixed Vocabulary Quiz – For higher grades, this quiz asks students to correspond a word with its meaning.
- Reading Comprehension Games – Here is a list of easy to play games for elementary school students.
- The Alphabet Game – Play this game at home or in the classroom to show children the alphabet.
Hands on/Art Projects
Many teachers might not think of reading as a true hands-on experience, however by implementing some kind of art project into the reading curriculum, children will have a better grasp of what they are learning. By combining some hands-on activities with traditional classroom lessons, students will be able to understand how not only to read, but how to remember and understand what it is they are reading. Using some creative methods and a little bit of ingenuity, educators can get students excited about reading. For children who are timid or have a difficult time with their reading comprehension, these types of activities can be a true help.
- Character Graphic - Use this graphic template to help children understand character’s roles in the books they are reading.
- Graphic Organizers – This website offers a large resource of PDF graphics that can be used in the classroom to help visualize and organize things like story development, characters, nouns, or any other word or reading related lessons.
- Interviewing Characters – Use this fun activity to have students “interview” the characters in their books.
- Art & Comprehension – This fun art project combines music, reading, art, and comprehension all together.
- Turkey Art/Lesson Plan – Great for elementary school students, this art project and lesson plan about Thanksgiving enhances students’ understanding of reading, spelling, and grammar.