Comprehension isn’t an activity that most people relish.
Reading out loud isn’t something that many people enjoy.
Yet as a school child this is often a task that is inflicted regardless of the “pain” it puts them through.
I can remember as a child having to read out loud in class (or in any other scenario) and it would terrify me.
I have always loved reading, and as nerdy as this may seem; as a child one of the highlights of my week was to walk down to the village library on a Friday after school and choose the books I wanted to read over the weekend. For pleasure or for homework, it didn’t matter. This was a routine I still look back on with fond memories.
Yet reading out loud terrified me. I would, and still do, stumble over my words making myself feel stupid. Whilst the people before me were reading their parts, I would work out what I would be told to read. That way I could practice. The flaw with this meant I had no idea of what was happening in the book so if
I was asked anything, I had no idea because I’d been so absorbed in my fear of what was to come!
Over the past 6+ years I have worked with many children focusing on comprehension. Whether it is my personal dread of reading aloud that has influenced this game or that of the people I work with; I am no longer sure.
The Board Game:
I design a board, either focusing around the book we are reading or the child’s interests (or if I have a lot to carry a generic one). On the board are 18 pictures of three designs.
Example: 6 pictures of the BFG, 6 pictures of Sophie and 6 plain circles.
We will decide in advance who is the BFG and who is Sophie.
For the purpose of this explanation I will be the BFG and you can be Sophie.
Each time you roll the dice you move the number of spaces dictated by the dice.
You can go: left, right or up / down the middle but you can’t change direction half way through ago.
If anyone lands on the BFG, I must read a paragraph, page or chapter (depending on what is suitable). If anyone lands on Sophie, you must read.
The other spaces are forfeits such as read another page, have another go, miss a turn, other person reads, etc.
By incorporating a game into the task, it takes the pressure of the person who must read.
It also means that one person doesn’t have the daunting task of reading long extracts from the book/ article.
At the end of a few pages or a chapter there will be a task to complete such as:
Draw and illustrate a picture of (something that was described in the page).
Why do you think the author used this word?
What does he mean by that phrase?
Create a word search using verbs that have been used in this chapter.
If you are a parent that would like some help with thinking of questions you could use with your own child or you are interested in have support from a
Clara James Tutoring tutor, please do get in touch.