Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Writing after reading
Are you reading more during the summer holidays? I like going to bed with a good book or even taking some time during the day to have a break and read while sitting outside on the balcony.
Usually in the summer the children take part in the library’s reading challenge – we go there in the morning, they choose a few books, and a couple of days later we go back, they retell the story and earn some stickers or prizes for their reading. This year we decided to have a reading challenge at home. After they finish a book, I ask them what happened in the story, if they enjoyed it or not, and why, and if they’d like to read more books that are similar or by the same author.
From a young age, children can tell you how they feel about books. They will ask for the same stories over and over if they like them. The repetition and familiarity help them learn. The stories they enjoy can change over time; the more they hear them, the better they will understand them and they will get more out of them, appreciating different aspects of the story.
So how can we use those stories they know so well to produce some writing?
Stories can have a great impact on children’s writing, in many ways: they can understand how a story works with its different elements (see Parts of a Story & Planning), they can learn new vocabulary, they can use the story as a starting point for their own writing (see Old Stories and New Twists). And one more thing they can do is write about it – a book review.
A review may sound complicated, but it is simply a person’s appraisal or appreciation of a book. If you ever talk to your friends about books that have touched you, then you can write a review.
Questions for a young reviewer
What’s the title of the book? Who wrote it and who illustrated it?
Can you name the main characters?
Can you explain what happens to them in the story? (what’s the big problem?)
What was so great about the book that made you want to recommend it or read it again? Was it the characters? The humor? The storyline? The pictures?
What would you have liked to be different? Was the book too short? Were some of the jokes not funny?
You can download the review worksheet to write your draft.
You can use these questions to create a simple and effective review. Sharing your love of books will inspire others to read more.
I hope you have a relaxing summer, and I look forward to all your book suggestions!