The habit of reading goes a long way in determining the future career path of our children. Reading helps in developing cognition, and it encourages children to build linkages and associations with what they see in the world. Another important feature of reading is discussing books with adults, whether they be a teacher, parent, or elder sibling, because it helps the child bounce off ideas and helps improve overall understanding. This attempt to communicate his or her understanding helps the child be more confident about his or her opinion and understand how different people can draw a different set of opinions about the same book.
- The names of the books that they read, their reactions (could be written or visual), and the dates they’ve read the material
- Their general experiences in the school, classroom, home, and in the neighborhood
This activity can be guided by adults or family members who can help the child track their progress and assist him or her in seeing how his or her thoughts changed over time and pose the “why” questions to push the child to develop the linkages of how much our experiences shape our understanding of what we read.
Here’s an example of this activity for “Alice in Wonderland.”
Date: January 10, 2014
Book I Read Today: Alice in Wonderland
My Ideas: I like Alice. She goes to different places and meets people and animals. Sometimes she grows big and she grows tall. And she swims in her tears. That was funny.
At School - I am in 3rd grade and I like making friends in my school. I swim with my friends. We have fun.
At Home - I like to draw. I talk to my friends.
Date: February 8, 2016
Book I Read Today: Second reading of Alice in Wonderland
My Ideas: Alice meets very different animals and animals. They talk to her. She is upset in the beginning but sometimes she enjoys. Everything is alive in the story and anything can happen. I like that.
At School - I am in 5th grade and I am in a new school now. In the start, I wasn’t comfortable in the school but now I feel good. People seemed strange in the start but now I enjoy with them. Our teacher makes us write stories and I can write about anything.
At Home - I draw a lot at home. Drawing is fun, I can make anything and I can make normal things look strange.
This journal (albeit a small example) is a way to show a child how her rereading plays a big role in her understanding of the book. Her understanding has evolved, and a journal is a helpful reminder of that. Let us know in the comments if you are giving this a try!