Sunday, February 1, 2009

Reluctant Readers

I got a great email from- a 6th grade teacher. Like a true teacher- she has assigned me some homework! She wanted some suggestions for 6th grade boys reading on a 2nd-3rd grade level.

I've asked her to give me a few days to put together a list. I know it is a challenge when older boys don't want to read "baby" books but they can't read books at their age level.

One quick recommendation I was able to offer is Kid Friendly Magazines! Ranger Rick for boys who love animals or Sports Illustrated for kids is great for sports fans. The short articles and great pictures usually help build confidence in reading and provide topics of high interest level.
Your local or even school library might have back issues of these magazines.

My second recommendation for older boys with lower reading skills is:
Use Movies as a tool to help them get "hooked" to a book. (I know from personal experience this is a great way to hook reluctant readers to books.) Pick a book that has a movie:
Summer of the Monkeys, Hoot, Stormbreaker, Shiloh, Spiderwick, Indian in the Cupboard and Prince Caspian, are just to name a few.

Then let the boys watch the first 15- 20 minutes. This will firmly establish: Plot, Setting, and Characters in their mind. This eliminates some of the frustration about reading for those who have low skills. They can now "just read" without having to stumble over lengthy descriptions about settings and characters and worry about losing important content.

Lastly: here are some books that I believe older readers with lower skills would enjoy. They have content interesting for an older boy- yet are short, easy reads. I am still compiling a list- so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear your book recommendations~

A Boy at War & A Boy No More - {read here} How impressed I was by this book.
Lunch Money by Andrew Clements- I am currently reading this book and am in LOVE! This book lends itself so easily to hands-on activities and class room projects! I see a future book club outline!
A great series for Older boys with lower reading skills: On the Run by Gordon Korman. Each book is only 150 so pages... but packed with high adventure and mystery! (Like a younger version: Prison Break.) Soooo good! (6 books in this series and then a trilogy that follows with same characters called: Kidnapped. I haven't read the trilogy- yet. But it is on my list.)

I love Gordon Korman so much (as an author for boys)- I forgot about that series! I think I need a blog post dedicated just to him... My son is currently reading another book of his: Swindle

Hey- If you have a great book for this reading group: Older boys- lower reading levels.. please goto my Book club Round UP and toss your links and suggestions there!
It gets you more entries in this months give-away....


T said...

I just picked up A Boy at War a few days ago on your recommendation (my friend is finding the next for me... she has a lot of shelves...) but I haven't started it yet because I grabbed a bunch that day (yes, I will finally be posting some reviews)

I'll have to think about it for a while to see if I have any more suggestions... Clements and Spinelli are the only things that come to mind :)

Kristina P. said...

These sound like great recommendations. I will pass them along to my sister and brother for my nephews.

Jami said...

We're real magazine fans around here. Also I love Andrew Clements. My kids have liked everyone of his books.

abby said...

I like Gary Paulson's books, and also Will Hobbs- outdoor adventury

Emily said...

Duh, that wasn't really Abby, it was Emily

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