Teachers and Parents Find New Motivation for Reading Children's Books

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Author, Michael Pagliarulo, discusses how teachers, parents, and role models can learn how to take the monotony out of rereading a child's favorite book by using a few motivational techniques that will also enhance the child's learning experience.

Bostonwick Press

Make the story come alive.

Ever notice how stories evoke certain thoughts, emotions, and deeper meaning? Utilize these aspects to stimulate imagination and enhance the reading experience.

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Does your child have a favorite book she wants read for the umpteenth time? Repetition is great for early readers, but it can be quite challenging for adults. Just how many times can we reread Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” and still keep our enthusiasm? A helpful technique is to incorporate subplots, which can add newfound excitement into the reading experience. Children's book author, Michael Pagliarulo, offers 3 keys to keep the same story fresh and fun:

1. Analytical Focus
Try reading with an analytical focus. After each page, use questions to test mental aptitude. Ask the child what she thinks will happen next. Quiz her on the meanings of words. How will the character solve the problem? How should the story end?    Ask about details in the illustrations. What is the motivation for certain actions? For example, why is it so important for “Sam I Am” to get the big fuzzy unnamed character to eat the green eggs? The child’s answers can be more entertaining than even the book itself!

2. Emotional Focus
Another way to supplement the reading experience is to use an emotional focus. Try asking these types of questions: What part of the story did the child like or dislike the most, and why? Are the pictures happy or sad? Do the colors of the book influence the child's mood? Does the child feel sorry for the character? How do the characters look emotionally? Are the characters funny, angry, playful, embarrassed, silly, or afraid? How do the characters feel after certain actions? Note that child's answers can sometimes be a projection, and talking about the character's emotions can be a nonthreatening way for the child to reveal her own feelings.

3. Deeper Meaning Focus
Reading with the intent of focusing on the deeper meaning is yet another way to read a story. Ask the child what the moral of the story was. What did the characters learn? Did the hero do the "right" thing? Does the child accept or agree with the outcome of the story? Would the child have done anything differently? What would the child do if that happened to her in real life?

These are 3 basic keys for reading the same old story with a new light by simply changing the context in which the story is told. Use your imagination. Create your own unique ways to focus the story for greater learning, higher involvement, and more excitement. And maybe you will find out that you do like “Green Eggs and Ham” after all!

About the Author
Michael Pagliarulo is the CEO of Bostonwick Press and the author/illustrator of the international award-winning children’s book, “Duffy the Dinosaur and the Secret Treasure!” Michael is also available as a guest speaker for conferences, workshops, and author visits. For more information, please visit http://www.duffythedinosaur.com.

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