Family Magazine

How to Be a Curious Reader

By Maliasa


“Go on, admit it, the book whispers its story to you at night.” (“Inkheart” Cornelia Funke)

“Inkheart” is one of my favorite children’s books. I love the idea of characters in a story coming alive when Meggie’s father reads a book aloud. This is what curious reader is doing. Taking the text and making it alive in the real world or imaginary world.

Many parents model a very creative approach towards reading picture books.

  • What do you think this book is about? Pointing to the image on the front cover.
  • Look at this little house! Would you like to live here?
  • Odd socks!  You wouldn’t like to wear odd socks, would you?
  • What would happen if you took down the moon?
  • What would you have done if you had meet a roaring dinosaur?

The picture on the front cover is explored and we use different ways to capture young children’s attention. Sadly, when a child learns to read the magic is suddenly lost. The creative approach is transformed into a hunt for letters, sight words, and the meaning of the text.

But the same approach can be used with older children.

  • Explore the cover and think about the title. What sort of book is it?
  • Write a couple of sentences with the same title. You can later compare your ideas with the book.
  • Read the first chapter and write what happens in the next chapter. Or read half the book and write the end of the story.
  • Stop and think about how you would feel if something similar happened to you. For example, if you, just like characters in the book, suddenly met a robot on the way home from school.
  • After you have finished reading the book, write a sequel to the book.
  • Imagine that you are one of the characters in the book. What is great about being that character?
  • What is not so great?
  • And what interesting things could you do, if you were that character?
  • How would you solve the problems?
  • What questions do you have after having read the book?
  • What is the craziest idea you got from the book?

The idea is to hand over the responsibility for asking questions about the book to the child.  Reading can be described as a conversation with yourself. Ahead where questions and ideas are whizzing around is more likely to enjoy reading a book.

The step from listening and reading picture books should not be a giant step. It should be a continuation from the way pictures books were used to explore the world.

A curious reader is drawn into a world but she also creates a world with the help of the text. Many books have important messages, but  a child needs to make these messages her own. A curious reader uses the ideas to grow and to develop her own ideas. Of course, it is necessary to learn to separate your own ideas from the book. But that is a completely different story, where a child also have to be creative.

Go here to read more about reading and reading comprehension.

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