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Literature is an important part of teaching children to read.

There are many different activities that involve literature that teachers and parents can do with students to help them get interested and keep on reading.

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Using Literature

There is no better way to teach your students to read than with the use of literature. We define literature as books and other written materials. Using literature shows students just how important books are and it also shows them that we can learn a lot while reading. Once we show our students how to learn from books, they will be ready to grow and learn on their own when they are grown. In this lesson, we will look at some reading activities that can be incorporated into the classroom setting.

Guided Reading

Let’s look over the classroom of Miss Jane. She has a first grade classroom of 25 students and she has one teacher’s assistant. Looking into the classroom, we see that Miss Jane has pulled aside a small group of students to do a guided reading activity and each student in the group has a copy of the same book. Her teacher’s assistant is helping the rest of the students in doing an independent activity. Today it is a word search. Miss Jane’s small groups for guided reading activities have no more than six kids who are all at the same or similar reading level. Miss Jane chooses books that are challenging for the group but not too hard.

She begins by asking the students to guess what the book may be about or what is going to happen. Then she instructs them to read to themselves from the book silently or in a very soft whisper. She makes sure that the students are OK with the reading. If she sees a student struggling, she helps that student out. She lets them read for about 10-15 minutes. After the students are done reading, Miss Jane then discusses the book with the students to see how well they understand the reading. They discuss what happened and what evidence in the book shows them what happened.

Every day she pulls aside a different set of students to do the guided reading with, while her assistant overseas the rest of the class. This way all of her students will get a chance reading in a small group.

Becoming the Character

In addition to the guided reading activity, Miss Jane also has activities for the whole class. The one that she is going to do right now is the Become the Character Activity. In this activity, Miss Jane asks the students to pretend that they are a character in a book that they have just finished as a class. Each student gets a sheet of questions to fill out.

The student is to answer the question as if they are the character from the book. The sheet has questions like, what’s your name? Where do you live? What is your friend’s name? She then asks the students to think about an important event that happened in the book and has the kids write down how they, as the character, felt, and how they responded to the event. After this, Miss Jane asks the students to return to being themselves. She then asks them what they would have done; would they have done the same or would they have done something different than the character?

Incorporating Art

Look, Miss Jane is getting ready for another activity now. She is getting crayons, markers, and paint out.

She is getting ready to do an art project related to the reading. Miss Jane says she often stacks these activities together because having several different activities about a similar topic helps her students to remember the topic. They are still discussing the same book. For this art project, Miss Jane has the students read a particular portion of the book. She then asks the students to draw what is happening or what is described.

This activity helps with reading comprehension. By seeing how her students interpret the words into pictures, she can see how well the students have taken in the book’s information.

Lesson Summary

Let’s review what we’ve learned. We define literature as books and other written material. Teachers can use literature in different ways to help teach students to read and understand what they are reading.

One activity is the Guided Reading Activity. This activity includes a small group of students at the same or similar reading level. The teacher has the students read a book that is challenging but not overly difficult. Before the reading, the teacher asks the students to guess what will happen. After the reading, the teacher asks the students about what happened.

Another activity that helps with reading comprehension is the Become the Character Activity. In this activity, the teacher has the student pretend that he or she is a character in the book. The student then answers some questions about the character.

The third activity is an art activity. In this activity, the teacher has the students draw a scene in the book. The students read a particular portion of the book and then they draw what they have read.

This helps the teacher see how well the students are understanding what they have read.

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