One of my most precious memories of teaching was reading The Velveteen Rabbit by Margerie Williams for the first time to my kindergarteners. It is a long story but it was so beautiful to have all the children with rapt attention to every word. We had to break up the reading over two school days and the children begged for me to read it to them. They were so touched by the ending and moved by the story that for some time they just sat there and did not say a word.
Reading with Children
Reading to children and encouraging them to read is one of the most essential joys that you could introduce a child to. A story can change the way a child thinks about you. When the new academic year would begin the children would be weary of the new teachers and there was one book about a scaredy cat for when told to them made them realize they should let go of their fears and enjoy the rest of the year. It made them giggle and laugh out loud and let go of their inhibitions.
Reading to children on rainy days brought them together and made them feel warm, safe and comfortable. I had a brief time during online teaching to read recommended books with children. The discussions that followed were insightful where the children understood the characters and the story more than me. Reading to children and with them helps them associate warm feelings for books and a kind of happiness that will stay with them forever.
There are various ways to encourage and foster good reading habits. “Three Billy Goats Gruff” a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe when performed in drama class brought great joy to the children. Everyone would want to be part of the act. Children also enjoy taking popular fairy tales and creating plays with a twist in the tale.
Reading is essential and some of it’s wonderful benefits are:-
- The more students read they will get better at it.
- Reading exercises, the brain and improves concentration.
- It teaches children about the world around them.
- It improves vocabulary and language skills.
- Develops a child’s imagination.
- Children who read achieve better in school.
My earliest memory of reading is opening a Grimms’ fairy tale and being taken into another world. I never stopped wanting to discover what was hidden in the pages of a book. In an age with gadgets and phones a book may lose its meaning. Even then I know children love books for they are like magic and they take you into a different world and for that moment you spend time reading, the world and its noise around you stops and its just you and your finest companion, a book.