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Franklin Elementary School
1895 Barnum Avenue
Stratford, CT 06614
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Home  ›  Departments & Staff  ›  Staff Biographies & Web Sites  ›  Reading  ›  Reading Outside the Book

Reading Outside the Book

10 OPTIONS FOR READING OUTSIDE THE BOOK

 
There are plenty of ways to keep reading beyond books.  The key is to tune into interests kids already have.  If your child loves swimming, provide ways for him/her to learn more about this sport through articles, brochures, tip sheets, and even catalogues.  Let a video game-obsessed child read instructions, reviews, and strategy books. 
 
Let your kids explore ways to think outside the book.  Here are some ways to keep kids reading in ways they may not have imagined.
 
1.  NEWSPAPERS
Many newspapers have sections geared toward kids.  The articles are generally short and snappy, and either appeal directly to kids or are written from a kid's point of view.  Also, keep an eye out for articles that might pique your child's specific interests.   While sections about cars, movies, travel, technology, and music may be aimed at adults, kids might get drawn in too.
 
2.  MAGAZINES
Magazines for kids or preteens might seem fluffy.  But if they keep your kids reading, the benefits might make up for the lack of heavy hitting content.  Kids can often identify with the tone and subject matter of magazines, and the articles hold their attention.
 
3.  COOKBOOKS
Even if your children would much rather eat out than cook, cooking is a good opportunity to get kids reading.  Give them a cookbook and a pack of post-its, and let them pick out several recipes they'd like to try.  You can also make the meals together as a family activity.
 
4.  BROCHURES
Are you planning a vacation?  Or do you just wish you were?  Get brochures for destination spots, tourist attractions, and theme parks.  Let your children read the brochures and get excited about an upcoming event or a potential adventure.
 
5.  COMIC BOOKS
Comic books and graphic novels are becoming more and more popular.  The illustrations and often offbeat topics should keep kids interested.
 
6.  SONG LYRICS
Rare is the child who doesn't love music.  He or she may have already found the liner notes in the CDs, but encourage them to read along as they listen to songs.  Also, your child can search for lyrics online and sometimes learn about the songwriter's stories behind the songs.
 
7.  INSTRUCTIONS
Have your child read the instructions for backyard or indoor projects and help you go step by step.  Who knows, the kids may understand the instructions better than you!
 
8.  FOOD AND PRODUCT LABELS
Have your kids read the cereal box, bag of chips, soda can, suntan lotion bottle, bug spray, or anything else that is lying around.  It won't take them long to scan the words, and they'll learn more about what they're putting in or on their bodies.
 
9.  CATALOGUES
These can be a great option if your child is exploring a particular interest.  From soccer, to bedroom furniture, to clothes, catalogues have concentrated information on whatever your child is interested in.
 
10.  BACKS OF VIDEOS/DVDs
Rather than picking a movie based on its packaging, take your kids to the movie rental store's selection of older movies.  Have your kids select a movie based on the story description on the back of box.  Challenge them to find a good story based on the plot, rather than the marketing.
 
 
Ideas taken from www.rif.org