I learned more about rabbits reading Watership Down than I have by raising them. I have read it several times, and each time I fall in love all over again.
My first reading was as a young teen. I didn’t really grasp the political implications and the social commentary until I read it again in my twenties. I can’t say I enjoyed the story more because of understanding it better, but I did find the reading a deeper experience.
My boys fell in love with Richard Adams’ classic book many years ago. And I learned to read it as a child again. Because, in Adam’s own words,“I’ve always said that Watership Down is not a book for children. I say: it’s a book, and anyone who wants to read it can read it.” For him, it’s just a story, not meant to be a parable or an allegory or any of the things we crazy scholars accuse it of being.
It’s best enjoyed as just that–a wonderful, action-packed, astounding story.
In this house, we go tharn when we are shocked, scared, or speechless. Our rabbits go to silflay when we let them out of their cages. And we’re always on the lookout for Owsla.
I don’t think my boys have ever laughed as hard at a book as they did at The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. There is something to be said for a character who continues to be relatable more than 140 years after he was written.
Tom’s antics and adventures are the stuff of every little boys’ dreams. And probably every little girl’s, too. Tricking everyone into doing your chores for you? Running away to a deserted island? A treasure hunt and a dangerous criminal? I mean, Come On.
Plus, the book is just plain funny. Just ask my boys.
Summer means getting outside for learning. What better way to take the classroom outside than to hold an outdoor book tasting for kids?
I mean, this stuff is fun. It’s an incredible way to get kids engaged in reading and excited about my favorite-ist thing in the whole wide world–BOOKS!
If you have kiddos who are interested in one genre and like to stick to it, a book tasting is a great way to introduce them to new stuff. If you have some friends you can invite over to take part, ask them to bring books with them so there’s a large variety. Your kiddos are sure to find something new to read, even if you just check out new books from the library to use.
A book tasting is very like a wine or food tasting, but a lot easier to put together. And nobody gets drunk or fat as a result!
Getting your young readers hooked on a good story doesn’t have to be too difficult, but sometimes comprehending the story isn’t enough. Sometimes comprehending the meaning behind the story requires us to think on a deeper level. For me, those are the best kinds of books.
One of my favorites in that respect is Animal Farm by George Orwell.
Basically a political treatise disguised as a children’s fable, Animal Farm has all the things. And since it does, it might take a little work to get your readers thinking about it and understanding it the way they should.
Don’t worry. I got you. But first let’s talk about some of the key strategies for reading comprehension that you should implement no matter what you’re reading.