April 30, 2020

Afterschool To-Go | Resource Nook: Interactive Reading

By Katie Acheson |  

If you asked me to pick one thing that I miss the most about teaching, I would tell you it is reading time. Reading is such a great way to accomplish so many things. Of course reading feeds our brains and teaches us new words and helps us succeed later in life. We should not discount those things. But there is so much more that reading can be. Reading can be gazing into the sky and wondering if the clouds really are spilt milk. Reading is an opportunity to laugh, or to cry, or to change our perspective. The beauty is that this is true no matter what age you are. Reading is amazing, but it becomes even more powerful when we read out loud in an interactive and engaging manner. 

19 Interactive Reading Resources

The resources provided were hand-picked based on the quality of content and variety of age group appeal. Some of them are tailored for a young audience, while others are well suited for middle and high school youth. These are just a few of the many resources we provide in our digital library.

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Guiding Tools

After reviewing the list of resources, the following guiding tools can be used to help layout and plan your activity. These are not restrictions but rather, suggestions and ideas that can help enhance your work. Ensuring that youth continue to receive quality programming, even virtually, is a responsibility we must all share moving forward.

Program Quality Assessment (PQA) Tool

The PQA is an excellent resource and guide when considering interactive reading. Within this tool, there are areas to keep in mind. First, the Active Engagement section helps ensure children are engrossed while reading and making important connections between what they are learning and their own experiences. Interactive reading also helps develop stronger School-Age Leadership skills by helping youth process together, and to help each other learn and understand the content of the books. Finally, interactive reading is perfect for the Reflection section in the tool, where youth can reflect on what they have heard in various ways and give feedback for further learning.

Interactive Reading Tips to Keep Youth Engaged

boyreading.jpgWhen choosing your book, consider both what your kids are interested in, want to learn about, are experiencing, or need to know, as well as books you love about things you are passionate about to share with your kids.

Bring out the personalities and eccentricities of the characters by changing the sound of your voice, the speed with which you speak, the volume, and your facial features and body language.

Use maps, pictures, props, etc. to help bring the story to life and to lay groundwork for understanding.

Prepare open-ended questions prior to your reading. Write your questions on post-it notes and place them in the appropriate places for reminders. Give prompts such as, “I wonder what…” or “Why do you think…” or “How would you…”

Remember that sometimes a book will just flop, and that is not your fault. Consider having a back up.

Never fear wordless books! They are a great way to stretch imaginations and create lively discussions.

Final Thoughts

download_1.jpgI can sit and listen to someone read a book no matter the subject, if that person is engaging me and helping me go on a magic carpet ride with them. Reading aloud is good for all youth, regardless of age. It gives us so many opportunities to teach, to learn about our kids, and for our kids to learn about us and their peers. Reading aloud also helps kids build their vocabulary, critical thinking skills, social skills, problem solving ability, and even can help with math and logic! Right now especially, it lets you take them out of this very unsure world even if only for a short period of time. Reading aloud is an art, and one that all of us can master.