Two Person Book Report
February 04, 2009
Parents should be reminded to read to, and with, their children often. Reading together does not stop with the primary grades. I taught 5th and 6th grades and encouraged reading aloud with children. I say “with,” because there are dozens of ways to vary it. You read a paragraph, I read a paragraph. You read a chapter, I read a chapter. You ask a question, I ask a question. You read the narrative, I read the dialogue, and then switch. Lots of dialogue is possible between parent and child. In fact, parents will generally love doing it and wonder why they don't share the activity more often.
I designed a book report called The Two Person Book Report. The student is instructed on a cover sheet to choose a parent/adult who is willing to read a book with them, a little bit each evening. The book should be age-appropriate, at the right reading level, and agreed upon by both parties. There is a page for each participant to complete separately, containing such questions as:
- Who was your favorite character, and why?
- If you could give advice to one character, who would it be for and what would it be?
- Did any character remind you of anyone you know or knew?
- How do you know where and when this story took place?
Before handing in these papers, the students always read the parent’s responses, which often lead to even more dialogue between the two. The last question is always, “What did you think of this experience?”
Over the years, the answers were overwhelmingly expressions of gratitude for the experience, and “we will do more of it.” Parents forget they can still enjoy literature with their children long after they are out of kindergarten!