So, as an educator, you’re finding it quite challenging getting your students to enthusiastically read books.
You have tried various methods to get them to pick up interest in reading, yet, you aren’t making headway.
This can be frustrating and discouraging because you understand that students need to absorb the books they read so as to better understand and form their own independent thoughts.
Well, not to worry! We understand your plight that is why we recommend StoryWalks.
StoryWalks have proven to be an effective, fun and engaging form of reading especially for students who find monotonous reading processes boring.
What are StoryWalks?
StoryWalks are a creative way for people to follow a trail while reading at the same time. This way, they get to walk along a path and simultaneously read stories as they take steps.
Unlike the conventional stay-in-a-spot type of reading, StoryWalks enable students read colorful pages from an illustrated book — which is displayed, one after the other, on poles — as they walk along a path (whether indoor or outdoor).
This ensures that students take their time to reflect on the subtle meanings and expressions in the books that they are reading, have conversations with other students as they walk and read, and reach conclusions based on what they understand.
Adopting this reading technique in educational institutions ensures that students do not only listen to/read stories but also energizes their brain which ordinarily is at rest when they sit at a spot to read.
Now that we understand what a StoryWalk is, here are steps you should take in setting up your StoryWalk:
Choose a book
Choosing the appropriate book can make a great difference.
Carefully selecting books makes the StoryWalk experience effective and enjoyable for students as they become engrossed in the story and get the feel of “living” in the books as they walk along the path.
It is important to note that illustrated/picture books are ideal for StoryWalks because the vivid pictures captivate students’ minds and because they are usually short, they are easier to absorb.
The ideal layout for StoryWalks is one page per pole so that pictures and texts are legible.
The poles should be high enough for people to clearly read the pages on them.
StoryWalk paths should be easily accessible to students.
They involve a lot of space sharing. Therefore, they should be in conducive places so that students can easily move around for the best experience.
What you should do as an educator to make the StoryWalk experience worthwhile
It is your duty to show students how to go about their StoryWalk activity for a seamless experience.
You have to convey to students how they can ensure everyone can see pages as they trail along the StoryWalk path.
It is therefore advised that you group them so that they can clearly see the pages.
Also, it is imperative to show students how to walk and talk about the stories so that they take their time to visualize the illustrations.
You can ask them to read out loud, one after the other, and draw them in the story by asking stimulating questions between pages to help them relate the story to their own experiences.
Finally, allow them to interact with one another so as to share their thoughts on what they have read.
Upon completion, post-StoryWalk activities should be encouraged because it helps keep the conversation and learning process going while providing a deeper understanding for students.
Students should be encouraged to give reviews as well so that educators can have an idea of the progress of their students.
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