Tuesday, May 31, 2016

5 Tips for Enhancing Children's Reading Experience

[Sponsored Review + Giveaway]

As I shared in an earlier post on bonding with children through reading, we enjoy the special moment snuggling and reading together. Reading with children is not just running through the texts. How can we enhance our children's reading experience when we are reading with them? Here are my 5 tips, with examples on how these can be done with selected titles from Scholastic:

1. Be expressive when reading aloud
Changing voices for different characters is one way to make the story come alive - one minute you sound like a sweet young princess, and the next minute you sound like an old wicked witch!

Geronimo Stilton Spacemice #6: The Underwater Planet
Author: Geronimo Stilton
ISBN: 978-0-545-87243-0
Ages: 7 - 10

About this book:
Geronimo Stiltonix accidentally comes into possession of a mysterious treasure map! The spacemice follow it and end up on a strange underwater planet. During their exploration, they face giant kelp forests, ferocious piranha aliens, and pirate spacecats! Can the spacemice keep the spacecats from stealing the treasure?

How to vary voices:
I used my usual voice for Geronimo, a high pitch voice for Thea, a kiddy voice for Benjamin, and a deep voice for spacecats. If you are not sure how to do it, you may bring your children to the storytelling sessions conducted at our local libraries, and learn from some of the librarians. Oh, those sessions are free!

2. Asking questions
Do your children really understand what you have just read? Ask them questions to develop their reading comprehension and to assess whether they have understood the story. Questioning also develops the children's critical thinking skill, you can ask the children how they would feel if they were in the character's shoes, or ask them to predict what would happen next.

Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-believe Jack and the Snackstalk
Author: Noah Z. Joan
ISBN: 978-0-545-84861-9
Ages: 5 - 7

About this book:
Princess heads to Moldylocks's house for movie night. Moldy's cousin Jack comes, too. He brings pink jelly beans for a snack. But Princess doesn't like pink, so she throws the jelly beans out the window. Soon, the beans sprout into a huge pillar of snacks! The three friends climb up the snackstalk and find themselves in Snackland! It is filled with pizza-roll hills, nacho-cheese rivers, and there's even a golden egg roll in a snack-filled castle! The problem is there's also a GIANT in that castle! Will Princess and her friends ever escape Snackland?

Asking questions:
This book provides some questions that you can ask your children, for example:
How does the Princess react to seeing wereworms? Is her reaction surprising? Why or Why not?
How is the story of Jack and the Snackstalk similar to and different from Jack and the Beanstalk?

3. Drawing connections with the children's experience
The children would have a better understanding of the story if they find similarities with the characters and happenings.

Everybody Feels Sad! 
Author: Moira Butterfield
ISBN: 978-9-814-72977-2
Ages: 4 and above

About this book:
Chloe was sad when she lost her favourite toy, and Omar was sad when his pet died. The story shares how they cope with their sadness.

Everybody Feels Angry! 
Author: Moira Butterfield
ISBN: 978-9-814-72978-9
Ages: 4 and above

About this book:
Sophie and Ethan were angry when someone took something that belonged to them. The story shares how they cope with their anger.

Drawing connections to experience:
Ask your children how they feel when they lost their belongings / someone took something that belonged to them. Discuss what would be the appropriate ways to handle the issues, and encourage your children to share with you about their feelings.

4. End the reading session of the day at a suspenseful point
That is the same theory as the drama series that we watch, don't reveal everything at one go! Of course, this works for chapter books. Create suspension so that the children will be eager to the reading time on the next day!

Geronimo Stilton Journey Through Time #3: The Race Against Time
Author: Geronimo Stilton
ISBN: 978-0-545-87241-6
Ages: 7 - 10

About this book:
Professor Paws von Volt had invented a portal to take Geronimo Stilton and his family to the past. On this trip, they visited the Ice Age, ancient Greece, and the Renaissance. He encountered wooly mammoths and enormouse bears, wrote and starred in a play, and even helped put a bad guy in prison! But then the portal started malfunctioning! Would they get lost in time?

Creating suspense:
We usually read 2 to 3 chapters a day. Of course, you can read more chapters with your children! At the end of each reading session, I ask my children to predict what would possibly happen to Geronimo and his family.

5. Conducting literature-based activities
After reading a book, do handicraft, conduct simple science experiment, play games or cooking simple dishes based on the story. These activities build experience and make the story authentic.

Camilla The Cupcake Fairy
Authors: Tim Bugbird & Lara Ede
ISBN: 978-9-814-72991-8
Ages: 4 and above

About this book:
The Fairy is excited to be given her very first wand, but her lack of experience leads to alarming results. However, with perseverance and the help of her friends she finally creates the tastiest ever cupcake topping!

Literature-based activities:
Make cupcakes with the children! Emphasize that teamwork and perseverance are keys to success in making cupcakes. Clueless about how to make cupcakes? No worries, take a look at our simple recipes - basic cupcakes, Milo cupcakes, Totoro mushipan (Japanese steamed cupcakes)!

[Giveaway] (Closed)

Scholastic Asia kindly offers to sponsor Camilla The Cupcake Fairy to 5 lucky PeiPei.HaoHao readers! Each reader will receive one copy of the book.

To be qualified for this giveaway, just complete these steps:
  1. Like PeiPei.HaoHao's Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Peipeihaohao (Thank you if you have already "Liked" us)
  2. Like this Facebook post, comment "How do you enhance your child's reading experience?", and leave your email address in the Facebook comment [or you may send your email address to mami(at)peipeihaohao(dot)com]
  3. Bonus (optional): Share this Facebook post on your Facebook timeline.
Giveaway Terms and Conditions:
  • This giveaway will be closed on 5 June 2016, 2359 hrs.
  • The winner will be randomly drawn.
  • Prizes are not refundable or exchanged for cash or prizes of any kind.
[Update on 6 June 2016]
Congratulations to Agnes Chin, Yu Meiyi, Alvin Tay, Michelle Ng and Tammy Sng!

Check out Scholastic Asia for more interesting books!
Scholastic Asia
Website: http://scholastic.asia/en

Disclaimer: We received the books from Scholastic Asia for review purpose. No monetary compensation was received. The giveaway is sponsored by Scholastic Asia. The giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administrated by, or associated with Facebook. All opinions and photos are mine. 

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