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I'm a Reading Star
Everyone likes to see proof of their progress, especially children who are learning to read. With this chart, children can keep track of how many books they’ve read. As an added plus, they are invited to rate each book. Did they love it or was it just so-so? It’s never too soon to encourage budding book reviewers!
- Print out the chart and explain how it works. If possible, let the child fill in some or all the written information needed for each book (title, author, illustrator, and date read). It’s a good lesson in finding the title, the author, and illustrator before filling in the chart. Where are they? On the book cover and in the beginning pages.
- Even the littlest readers will be able to circle the stars to rate the book. But before you begin circling, help the child figure out what he or she liked and didn’t like. Did he or she understand what was happening in the story? Were there too many unfamiliar words? Not enough pictures? Was the topic just not interesting enough?
- Help the child decide how to rank the books. The chart says one star means “I didn’t like it”, two stars means “it was OK”, and three stars means “I liked it a lot.” But you and the child could decide to change these ratings with your own words. For example, one star could mean “not for me”, two could mean “pretty good”, and three could mean “awesome”.
- Talk about how long it will take for the child to fill in the chart. Set a realistic goal and place the chart in a prominent spot. When the chart is full of read books, give the child a reward. A trip to the library or bookstore and a bookmark craft might make a perfect postreading treat.
- If the child zipped through the first chart, consider starting again with themes. He or she could make a chart that features sports books, books in a series, or books about animals. Younger children might like to do a chart of “books I can read myself” or “favorite night-time books.” Staple together as a reading guide you can share with friends and siblings–and refer to next time you’re buying a book as a gift!
- Schools, libraries, and businesses often run incentive programs to get kids reading. The child could earn a certificate, books, or even a pizza for reading. Look into these programs and use them to keep the child motivated to open book after book.
- Find book reviews of children’s books, especially ones the child has read, to share with the child. Look online, on the book jackets of books, in newspapers, and magazines. Talk about how the reviewer did exactly what the child did by reading the book and then sharing his or her opinion of it. If the child feels strongly about a book, help him or her leave a review on an appropriate website.