Reading is scary for some children. Halloween is scary for some children.
I love the spirit of Halloween and the energy that comes with it. ~ Katharine McPhee
How can we make learning to read and Halloween less scary?
With all the Halloween hype, I think some people forget that Halloween is scary for some children. It’s not fun. Learning to read and reading in front of others is also scary for some children. Thus, they say, “I don’t like to read.” What they really mean to say is the following: “Reading in front of others is scary.” or “I’m not that good at reading, so reading is no fun.” Do you know any children that don’t enjoy reading or don’t want to read in front of others? One way to help them through the fear is to do reading activities together. Stay by their side.
Here are a few simple tips for Halloween & reading making them both less scary and definitely more fun.
This book is a great book to read together: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything. By Linda Williams. This is a great story because it is filled with repetition which helps struggling readers and new readers learn a pattern to follow giving them success. It is also a relatable topic that’s perfect for the Halloween/Harvest season. It is also filled with a literary device, onomatopoeia which is the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named. (e.g. meow, honk, and buzz). Have your child reread the book for fun and fluency. Discuss the story. (This is great bonding time for you and your child helping them overcome fear, and it builds comprehension.)
Sing along with this song: Hap Palmer’s Witches’ Brew (Click Witches’ Brew to access the video.) (Singing along while reading the lyrics helps a struggling or new reader learn the words through a fun, catchy song. Helping them through this process is called scaffolding which sets them up for success.) Sing this at least 3 times to solidify the lyrics. I’ve done this for years and years (which either makes me experienced or old, or both. 🙂 Anyway, kids love this. I promise. 🙂 ) Click here to print a version of the lyrics.
Read this recipe together and make edible Witches Brew (Click on the word Witches Brew for the recipe.) (Reading a recipe together role models reading as a life skill. Plus, you are making a tasty treat together. What a great way to overcome fear, right? )
Have your children create their own Witches Brew. Draw a picture or write about it.
Lastly, dress up as a favorite story book character. Children love to dress up. When you have them dress up as a story book character, you are eliminating scary Halloween costumes and instilling the love of literature. You can even take this one step further and have them share their favorite book. They can also do a book talk. A book talk is basically a short “commercial” highlighting or summarizing the book enticing others to read it. Book talks are a lot of fun, and they inspire others to read the books that are shared in the book talks.
When you do the above activities together, your children will have so much fun reading, singing, and creating that their fear will dissolve. Give it a try and please let me know how it goes. Also, please share any other ideas that you do for this time of year. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂
Photo credits: 1. step2.com 2. amazon.com 3. simpleasthatblog.com