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Encouraging children to read: part 2

15 November, 2008

On Thursday, I discussed how I used cartoons and comic books to encourage kids to read. This was the first step – they were reading and I needed to find ways to encourage them to write. Some of the steps I used are listed below:

– Find cartoon strips and jumble the panels and ask kids to order correctly (this encourages the traditional narrative writing format).
– Use other cartoon strips, remove the dialog and ask children to replace their own
– Ask children to create their own superhero/heroine/manga/dragon ball z character and then answer a few simple questions:
– What is the new character’s powers – who are their friends / enemies? Where do they live? What are their strengths / weaknesses etc.
– Provide a story format and ask children to elaborate e.g. Hero gets powers, discovers villain, villain beats hero, hero discovers way to beat villain, fights villain and saves the day. Have them draw their story in comic book format (AFTER they’ve written the narrative!).
– Ask children to write a book review for some of the comics / cartoon strips they’ve already read.  What do they like / not like and why etc.

So if you’ve been having problems getting children to read or write, try some of the exercises I’ve discussed.  You may be pleasantly surprised. They worked for me and they’ll work for you.

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