Guest Post: Six Ways to Get Your 6th Grader Reading


6 Ways to Get Your 6th Grader Reading!.png

Guest Post by Zakkiya Anderson of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia. You can reach Zakkiya regarding Boys & Girls Club programming at

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a literacy problem in our community. There are schools right here in Hampton Roads who are unaccredited due to issues with passing the SOL testing. This is a community issue. So how do we make sure our kids are enjoying reading? Here are 6 ways to make reading and reading comprehension fun!

1. Play wordy board games:

Games like Taboo and Scattegories are games that require your kids to do important things like word association and teaches them new words that they may not be introduced to on a daily basis. Can’t afford the actual games? Not a problem, create your own versions with sticky notes or index cards! Remember, you can play with or without the timers depending upon what level of intensity you want to have.

2. Create Picture Book Reports:
Have your child read one of their favorite books (or pick one for them) and then once they are done, let them create their very own picture dictionary. Have them use words, characters, and themes from the book to construct an A-Z book report. This will help them review the book again and really take a look at maybe some unfamiliar words or concepts they didn’t understand at first. Then, have them describe the word or concept and draw a picture. The finished product is a wealth of knowledge and a lot of fun! Use colored paper and crayons/markers to make this a really cool arts & crafts project.

3. Put on some Jams!
Take the stress out of reading by adding some soothing music in the background to help your child move along through reading a difficult text. Experiment with this and see what kinds of music your child does better with, and this could be something they use all the way into college!
4. Recreate the Magic:
Take a pause and reenact an important scene from the book. Have your child play the main character or the sidekick and have at it! Maybe this is a part where the main character learns conflict resolution, or maybe loses a friend. If your child is acting this out, and not just reading it, he/she has more time to really digest what is going on. Maybe your child is not as animated, let them tell you how they can best describe what just happened. Being flexible is key!

5. Read with them/to them:

Storytime shouldn’t be a thing of the past. Sometimes, kids really just want to be read to. Spend at least an hour a week reading with your child. Find books that interest them that may be a little beyond their reading level. That’s where you come in! Go back and forth reading to each other, and if they struggle a bit, encourage them and remind them that this is a process.

6. Talk to your kids’ teachers, mentors, or other important adult figures in their life:

This one isn’t so much fun as it is strategy. Work with the other adults in your child’s life who might see them even more than you do. Talk to them and see where your child is struggling, or where they are excelling. Let them tell you what your child has an interest in, and you can tell them what is working for you at home. Good luck! 

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