Above is a picture of a diorama that my daughter made for a scene in the novel Charlotte’s Web. It’s the scene where people come to see Charlotte’s web when it says “some pig”. She also did a write up of a summary which is glued on the back. My daughter dislikes writing but she loves making things. I have sometimes wondered if she had a bad experience with a pencil in a past life but she also dislikes typing. Fortunately the write up was totally overshadowed by the fun of making a diorama. The summary encourages differentiating between main points and minor detail whereas the diorama encourages attention to detail. Here are more reader response ideas:
· Do a book review (there are lots of online samples)
· Write the author a letter
· Write a summary (younger kids can summarize the beginning, middle and end)
· Act it out
· Write the story into a play format
· Identify the story elements (characters, setting, problem, climax, resolution, theme)
· Compare and contrast the book with the movie (Venn Diagrams are a nice way to organize thoughts)
· Write a different ending for the story
· Make a commercial to sell people on the idea of reading the book
All these activities require readers to use higher-level thinking skills. They are also a great base for discussing what they read and what they thought about it. And many of them are suitable for children who dislike their pencils (and keyboard).
If your child is reading regularly this summer then great! Talk about the value of doing some reader response activities and let them choose an activity to do for the next book they read. If your child is not reading regularly then I would work on helping them develop that habit first. For some ideas on how to do that see the previous post “Summer Reading”.