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Your Tips

To involve parents in your reading programme, and encourage a love of reading beyond the school / reading club / library environment, send home copies of the Nal'ibali supplement with children for them to share... ect

Your Tips

Reading & exploring books with children

Diary entries

Write diary entries that story characters would have written at certain points in the story. For example, for The Little Girl Who Didn’t Want to Grow up‘, children can write entries that Ayanda would have written about what she liked to do with her father before he went to war; about the time she had to look after her granny; and about when she had to fight the criminals. This will help children learn to identify with others, as well as provide a chance for them to practice their writing! – Xolisa Guzula, Nelson Mandela Institute.

Read with your child every day!

“Once a child has entered through the magic door of reading they will become lifelong readers. Parents should strive to spend 15 minutes a day reading with their children. Fewer and fewer parents read to their children; they need to be setting an example of the importance of being able to read. If a child grows up with books and a love for reading we will end up with a nation of readers.” – Righardt le Roux, Westonaria programme Librarian

Know the book

“It is important to show enthusiasm and passion when reading. When doing a storytelling it is important to have read the book and know what the book is about. I like to choose books that children can be a part of so that they can interact with the story.  I also like to use expression and different voices.” – Tracey Muir, Librarian at Central Library, Cape Town

Do YOU like the story?

“Go to the libraries and read different stories. When you want to tell a story, firstly you as the teller must like that story and enjoy reading it.” – Bongani Godide, Nal’ibali Cluster Mentor Gauteng

Practice skills other than reading and writing

Use the Nal’ibali stories to practice skills other than reading and writing. For example, to practice map work, use atlases and maps to find places mentioned in the stories! – Righard Le Roux, Children’s Librarian at Westonaria Library

Ask questions

Ask questions before, during and after reading the story to make your audience is engaged – and to check if they are listening! – Luleka Mehlomakhulu, volunteer at KwaFaku RC

Pace & expression

When reading to children, read at a steady pace, with lots of expression. – Langa Vulindlela Reading Club, Langa, Western Cape

Using English and local dialects

It’s vital that children are comfortable reading and storytelling in their home language, and not only English. Find books to read in their home language, and encourage discussion in both English and their local dialect. – Thando Tenza, READ Educational Trust, Gauteng

Games to make reading fun

Games are an enjoyable way to get children comfortable with words and reading. Play games like Scrabble, without being too strict about spelling correctly – allow children to spell imaginatively too, so they can explore the world of words. – Dawn Garisch, SA author

Let children choose books

Let  children choose their own books, as they are more likely to stay interested and engaged with a book they have chosen themselves than one that has been chosen for them. – Bafana Khumalo, We are the Future reading club founder, Freedom Park, Soweto

Starting and running reading clubs

Keep parents and the home involved

To involve parents in your reading programme, and encourage a love of reading outside just the school/ reading club/ library environment, send home copies of the Nal’ibali supplement with children, for them to share with their friends and family! – Inkwenkwezi Society

Local is lekker!

Try and get local people involved in your reading club, in as many ways as possible. This will increase your club’s sustainability and accountability. – Bongani Godide, Nal’ibali Cluster Mentor Gauteng

Using “praise notes”

At the end of each session, volunteers write a short note of encouragement and praise for each of his/her readers. For example: ‘Great work at sounding out the /b/ words today!’ or ‘Well done on spelling the /sh/ words’. – Kerry White of The Shine Centre, Cape Town

Things to do after reading…

After reading, children and volunteers can dramatise the story, write poems based on their own response to the story, or write alternative endings. These activities encourage an active imagination and engagement with stories. – Bafana Khumalo, We are the Future reading club founder, Freedom Park, Soweto

Start your sessions with play

We Are the Future reading club starts off our meetings with a stretch and some kind of physical play, to get the children’s minds and bodies stimulated and awake – which they especially need if they come early in the morning or after a long day at school! – Bafana Khumalo, We are the Future reading club founder, Freedom Park, Soweto

Volunteers from all backgrounds

Try to source volunteers from the local community, who speak the local dialects, so that children from all backgrounds feel comfortable and are catered for. – Bafana Khumalo, We are the Future reading club founder, Freedom Park, Soweto

Finding books & reading materials

Keep parents and the home involved

To involve parents in your reading programme, and encourage a love of reading outside just the school/ reading club/ library environment, send home copies of the Nal’ibali supplement with children, for them to share with their friends and family! – Inkwenkwezi Society

Create a scrap book to inspire stories

Create a scrap book and use it as a base to tell stories – and inspire children to tell their own stories! “When I was very small my mom made a ‘scrap book’ with the most amazing and beautiful pictures she could find. This always went along on long road trips. Every time a new story unfolded through the pictures.” – Righardt le Roux, Westonaria Programme Librarian

Books every child should read!

“Older children should all read the Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman; and younger readers should readAlice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.” – Pedro the Music Man

Give them choice

“Don’t force a child to read what you want them to read. It should be about choice and about making that choice exciting. That is why it is so important to take children to the library. Children are then able to explore the shelves themselves and to choose books that they find interesting and exciting.” – Tracey Muir, Librarian at Central Library, Cape Town

Use a ‘borrowing system’

To give greater children access to books, try a ‘borrowing system’, where children borrow books from the reading club like it’s a library. – Felicia Watson, KPS Reading Club

Local fêtes and markets

Browse local fêtes and weekend markets for cheap books. – Anne Marie Smith, Gauteng

Getting discounts on second-hand books

Shop for books at second hand and bargain book stores… and mention whom you’re buying books for, as kind book-sellers might give a discount! – Peggy Landman, West Rand Media Centre, Krugersdorp, Gauteng

Other

Read yourself

“Kids copy parents so if they see their parents read it will spark their interest. Buy books to read aloud to them, make your own informal books… you can even simply read the newspaper aloud!” – Felicia Watson, KPS Reading Club

Great book choice for dyslexic readers

For dyslexic readers, Dr Seuss books work well, because of the repeat words and phrases – Peggy Landman, West Rand Media Centre, Krugersdorp, Gauteng

Storytelling ideas & activities

Diary entries

Write diary entries that story characters would have written at certain points in the story. For example, for "The Little Girl Who Didn’t Want to Grow up", children can write entries that Ayanda would have written about what she liked to do with her father before he went to war; about the time she had to look after her granny; and about when she had to fight the criminals. This will help children learn to identify with others, as well as provide a chance for them to practice their writing! – Xolisa Guzula, Nelson Mandela Institute.

Call and Response

Use the Call and Response method when storytelling – especially if there is song or dance involved. “Call and Response is a traditional African style of singing where a leader (or storyteller) “calls”, or sings a phrase which is then “responded” to by the rest of the public singing another phrase together.” – Pedro the Music Man

Put music and rhythm into your stories

“My top tips for keeping children engaged during a storytelling or performance are: make sure you are having fun yourself; put music and rhythm into your story telling; and get the audience to take part in the story with sound pictures (where the audience uses their own imagination to create sets in their mind using sounds).” – Pedro the Music Man

‘Element stories’

“When telling stories, try and create ‘Element Stories’. The child gives you three elements, for instance an empty coke bottle, a lizard and a tennis ball, which then become the main elements in the story you have to tell starting… now! The swap: you give them elements and they tell you a story.” – Pedro the Music Man

Tell stories, even if you can’t read yourself

Some adults feel their own literacy skills are inadequate to help their children read. But you can still share stories! Tell children folk tales, or use wordless picture books as guidelines for your own story. – John Jansen, Rotary Club Gonubie

Play word games

Play word games, such as broken telephone, to help children relax at the beginning of a reading club session. – Felicia Watson, KPS Reading Club

Turn socks into finger puppets

Turn old socks into finger puppets with some googly eyes, craft paint and glue – perfect for adding animation to your storytelling time. – Langa Vulindlela Reading Club, Langa, Western Cape

Share your life stories

Don’t only read from books; share stories with your children from your own life! – Marilyn Honikman, writer and publisher

Using and storing Nal’ibali supplements

Keep parents and the home involved

To involve parents in your reading programme, and encourage a love of reading outside just the school/ reading club/ library environment, send home copies of the Nal’ibali supplement with children, for them to share with their friends and family! – Inkwenkwezi Society

Shoeboxes for storage

Use empty shoe boxes to keep your Nal’ibali supplements safe and all together. – Silukhanyo Reading Club, Western Cape

Protecting newspaper supplements

Laminating the Nal’ibali supplements keeps them in good condition and makes them easy to use again and again. – Peggy Landman, West Rand Media Centre, Krugersdorp, Gauteng

School libraries & media centres

Book reviews

To encourage young readers to engage with stories and thinking critically about what they read, teach them how to write reviews. This also helps them to practice expressing their own opinions. – Julia Paris, LIASA librarian of the year 2011, Gauteng

Make library spaces fun

Keep a spirited element to your library to discourage the idea amongst learners that libraries are boring or nerdy. For example, organise contests for who can read the most books in a month. – Letta Machoga, school librarian, Saulsville Gauteng

Easy way to categorise books

Use a system of colourful dots, to categorise your books so that learners can easily identify them. For example, a green dot  on the spine of Afrikaans books, and a red dot for English books. – Peggy Landman, West Rand Media Centre, Krugersdorp, Gauteng

Writing with children

Create newspapers

For a fun writing activity, teach children to create their own newspapers, filled with imaginary articles and their own drawings for illustration. – Dawn Garisch, author

Tips

Do you have any tips about your children's reading and writing  development?