Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Chook Favourites - Reading

From CBeebies
There are many wonderful sites that support children's reading. I mentioned some of them in Online Resources for Reading and Writing. But in this series, where I focus on sites that are creative literacy platforms, I've chosen three favourite websites that not only support kids' reading, but provide some sort of creative interaction as well.


CBeebies has so much to offer young children. They can listen to stories, sing songs, play games, make and colour, watch and listen. You'll find lots of favourites here like Bob the Builder, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Charlie and Lola etc. Games offer all sorts of fun and interactivity. The most creative ones I've tried are the music and art ones, which you can reach through a label in the left sidebar. But all of the activities I looked at contribute to creative play - and for pre-schoolers, that's what creative literacy is all about. They are developing pre-reading skills by rhyming, matching, listening, following directions, building their attention spans, talking, singing and let's not forget - having fun!

I mentioned the website in Playing with Art at CBeebies, where I focused on the creative art activities I liked.


From Scholastic
The main US Scholastic site has loads of games, activities and articles aimed at younger kids in a section called Family Playground. You'll find features like make your own I Spy, where kids can add small items to an array of colourful objects and generate their own I Spy riddle in the process. There are games to do with Clifford, Maya and Miguel, The Magic School Bus and Word Girl, where kids can practise pre-reading skills like matching, word-building, rhyming and sound awareness. Kids can read stories too, and even interact by choosing words to finish sentences.

Scholastic's The Stacks for Kids is aimed more at primary readers and above. There's a whole section devoted to games and linked to Scholastic books like the Deltora series, Garth Nix books, Bone etc. Checking out these games could lead your child to the books they're based on, as might the videos and author interviews. Confirmed young book lovers will just enjoy exploring!


If you don't live in the USA, you don't get to see the videos at the PBS website, but there's so much else for emergent readers and pre-readers to try. The index page sets out the shows and you can click on each to be taken to the supporting activities.

Games like Word World help kids identify words and work out what sounds their letters make. In Teletubbyland, kids click on objects and interact with them, listening to nursery rhymes, counting, painting etc. My favourite is Between the Lions, which helps young readers practise pre-reading and writing skills. They use The Quiet Machine to discriminate between sounds at the start of words, Sky Riding introduces them to different formats for letters, and Word Play brings words to life by animating them. Other games focus on opposites, superlatives, synonyms, spelling out words to answer riddles, and so on.

Check out earlier posts in this series: Book Chook Favourites - Making Posters, Book Chook Favourites - Book Creation, Book Chook Favourites - Cartoon Creation, Book Chook Favourites - Word Play, Book Chook Favourites - Storytelling, and the letter that started it all.
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