Make a mental movie

What you’ll need

  • A book at your child’s level

What to do

When you come to a descriptive passage in a book, have your child close her eyes and create a mental movie of the scene. Encourage her to use all five senses. Read the passage over together, looking for details that bring the scene to life. Ask questions like, “How do you know it was a hot day? Which words help you understand that the child was lonely?”

Predict the future

What you’ll need

  • A favorite book

What to do

After your child has finished reading a favorite book, ask him what he imagines happening to the main character after the book is over. Ask why he thinks certain things may happen, referring back to the events of the story or the character of the book. Do we just know, for instance, that Peter Rabbit will be back stealing another lettuce in Mr. MacGregor’s garden? Or can we guess that Junie B. Jones will get into trouble tomorrow? Encourage your child to identify details in the book that help her predict what might happen after the book ends.

Buy this book!

What you’ll need

  • A book at your child’s level

What to do

Have your child write a review of a book she just finished. What’s the book about? How did it make you feel? What types of readers will like it? Is there anything about the book you don’t like? Make the project a little more fun by adding your child’s mini book review to an online site that takes children’s reviews of books.

Mixed media

What you’ll need

  • A book with a movie version

What to do

Read a book with your child and talk about it afterwards. Ask your child about the characters, the main themes, what she liked and didn’t like. Next, watch the movie version of the book together, and talk about that. Encourage your child to make connections between the book and the movie. Which did she like better? How were they different? Were major themes or characters missing from the movie? (Some suggestions for books that have been made into movies: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Secret Garden, Beezus and Ramona, The Borrowers, Matilda, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.)

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Updated: March 11, 2016