A recent Reading is Fundamental guide states “a book doesn’t have to win an award to be considered ‘good.’ It doesn’t have to be a best seller or on a recommended book list, either. A good book is simply one a child enjoys reading.” Ask your student about topics. What is your student interested in reading? Ask them! Students can tell you what they like and don’t like, what they want to learn, and maybe what they want to do when they grow up.
Think of these topics and their interests for subjects to read aloud and to help guide them to good books. Be prepared with several different types of books – picture, wordless, non-fiction and predictable. Pair informational and fictional stories to add depth to a topic. Remember that an Oasis mentor reads at least one book every session to their student. Understand that a student’s reading interest will change throughout the year.
Here are a few planning tips:
- Choose books with clear text that is easy to read.
- Select books with colorful, attractive illustrations and photos that bring the text to life.
- Choose books that appeal to your student’s current interest.
- Find other books with your student’s favorite characters, or books by their favorite authors and illustrators.
- Select books that introduce higher level vocabulary and encourage good discussion.
- Consider books that your student remembers hearing when they were younger. Those books might be the perfect selection for a student to begin reading on their own.
- Be open to reading fact books, such as almanacs, trivia or record books.
- Think outside the box and introduce biographies, classics, graphic novels, cookbooks, newspapers, magazines and folk tales.
- Be prepared to revisit/review books you have read previously. Students frequently will ask to hear the same story.
- Finally, find chapter books that can be read over several sessions instead of in one sitting.
Remember to practice reading the book out loud prior to your session with the student. Reading out loud should not be monotone, so give it all you’ve got! Dramatic and fun sound effects, hand motions, facial expressions, and changes in tone invite the student to become a part of the story with you.
It is perfectly acceptable to briefly look through a book and then decide if it is a story-line you both want to pursue. If after reading a few pages or a chapter and you don’t like the story, pick another book. Reading with your student should not be a chore, it should be fun!
Seven reasons to read aloud to your student:
- Develops stronger vocabulary
- Builds connections between the spoken and written word
- Provides enjoyment
- Increases attention span
- Strengthens cognition
- Provides a safe way of exploring strong emotions
- Promotes bonding
Visit our Oasis Library/Resource room for assistance in finding good books. We have volunteers ready to assist you in checking in and out your books as well as helping you make your selections. The library is open during Oasis office hours: Monday – Thursday, 9am to 3:30pm and Friday, 9am to 3pm.