Inculcating good reading habits in children has always been a concern for all.stakeholders in education. The purposes to create independent thinking individuals with the ability to not only create their own knowledge but also critically interpret, analyse and evaluate it with objectivity and fairness. This will also help students in learning and acquiring better language skills.
Creating learners for the 21st century involves making them independent learners who can learn, unlearn and relearn and, if our children are in the habit of reading, they will learn to reinvent themselves and deal with the many challenges that lie ahead of them.
Reading is not merely decoding information or pronouncing words correctly. It is an interactive dialogue between the author and the reader in which the reader and the author share their experiences and knowledge with each other. Good readers are critical readers with an ability to arrive at a deeper understanding of not only the world presented in the book but also of the real world around them.
Consequently, they become independent thinkers capable of taking their own decisions in life rationally. Hence, a few activities are suggested below which teachers may use as a part of the reading project.
1. Short review
2. Dramatization of the story
3. Commentary on the characters
4. Critical evaluation of the plot, storyline and characters
5. Comparing and contrasting the characters within the story and with other characters in stories by the same author or by the other authors
6. Extrapolating about the story read or life of characters after the story ends defending characters actions in the story
7. Making an audio story out of the novel/text to be read aloud.
8. Interacting with the author
9. Holding a literature fest where students role-play as various characters to interact with each other
10. Role playing as authors/poets/dramatists, to defend their works and characters
11. Symposiums and seminars for introducing a book, an author, or a theme
12. Creating graphic novels out of novel or short stories they read
13. Dramatizing incidents from a novel or a story
14. Creating their own stories
15. Books of one genre to be read by the whole class.
Teachers may select books suitable to the age and level of the learners. Care ought to be taken to choose books that are appropriate in terms of language, theme and content and which do not hurt the sensibilities of a child.
Teachers may later suggest books from other languages but dealing with the same themes as an extended activity. The Project should lead to independent learning/reading skills and hence the chosen book should not be taught in class, but may be introduced through activities and be left for the students to read at their own pace. Teachers may, however, choose to assess a student’s progress or success in reading the book by asking for verbal or written progress reports, looking at their diary entries, engaging in a discussion about the book, giving a short quiz or a work sheet about the book/short story. The mode of assessment may be decided by the teachers as they see fit.
These may be used for Internal Assessments/Formative Assessments only. It may be noted that this reading project is apart from the long reading texts which have been prescribed for the Term-end Assessments.