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Reading Trail time again 🙂

From January through to Easter we ask pupils to not just concentrate on their reading, but to actually put some effort into it! A lot of our kids will happily read a single chapter and abandon the book claiming they’re bored. Over and over and over again.

Always starters, never pudding 😦

So we encourage them to try a wee bit harder with challenges and competitions and prizes. Classes keep track of their progress through a trail of paper prints on the wall, although we actually give marks for the mind-maps. It’s still makes pretty good visual inspiration.

The classes choose their own winner: the person who has put in the most effort. The winning class has an afternoon of fun and games in the LRC. The winning people from each class join me at a book shop to select books using the LRC ‘s budget! And believe me, spending someone else’s money on books is always fun 🙂

This year, I’ve got another couple of special weeks in mind.

Firstly, we’re having a Burns Week from 21st-25th, so I’m thinking about asking the pupils to read a Burns poem and complete a mind-map based on that.

Secondly, I thought we’d have a picture book session, for two reasons.

Last year, I purchased a handful of picture books and brought them out for a lesson based around sharing a book. The pupils were not particularly impressed by the lesson but they loved reading the Very hungry caterpillar, The cat in the hat, The tiger who came to tea, Green eggs and ham, Elmer, Where the wild things are and all the rest. Those who remembered them from their pre-school days ooh’d and ah’d all over them with genuine excitement. So I thought we’d move the picture books into the Reading Trail, and let the pupils have an hour of nostalgia and childish fun, and maybe even find some new delights.

The other reason I wanted to keep the picture books was for those who did not recognise any of them. For those young people who’d never had the chance to see them when they were wee, because no-one had ever read to them.

Just maybe, discovering picture books alongside such palpable elation will encourage them to read to their own kids, and break the cycle of non-reading. I appreciate it’s a long, long shot – and I’ll never know if it’s worked – but it’s worth trying.

So now we have to get class team-names organised, tell every pupil their starting colour, and, of course, make sure all the teachers know the rules!!!

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