One of the most practical suggestions from a useful book, When Kids Can't Read' is the use of pre-reading strategies, especially in the early grades.
Learning Academy Worldwide have, in all its work in South African schools, supported efforts to foster a desire amongst teachers to use pre-reading strategies to help young readers BEFORE starting with the required reading material.
I remember that, during 2010 teachers from a school in the south of Johannesburg, when working through Beverley Naidoo's 'Journey to Joburg', used a pre-reading strategy based on the cover of the book with tremendous effect. Anticipation is one of the most powerful drives that can stir reading habits amongst young readers and such was some of the discoveries made during the project in Johannesburg.
More recently, upon working with two Grade 7 classes at Siphosethu Primary School in the KZN province, I was once again encouraged by the powerful possibilities of deploying pre-reading strategies based on the same text.
- Students use their imagination as they respond to speculation about what the book could be about.
- They feel secure because their answers are all correct. To be clear, if a teacher asks a student 'What catches your attention when you look at the cover?', the answer is not only correct, whatever the student observes, but the teacher also creates the space for the student to speak her mind without being judged as right or wrong.
- Students use their creativity to craft their own versions of a possible