Reading can be fun! A good book can take you from the depths of the ocean floor to the farthest reaches of our galaxy and beyond. Whether you are reading a book, using a tablet, or following along on a phone, reading is a great way to explore the world! We asked authors, teachers and other experts what you can do to turn yourself into a bookworm, and they gave us these tips:
- Read at home: It helps to always have books at home. After all, you can't read without them! That way, you're always ready to start reading. Remember that no amount of reading is too small, even if it's just ten minutes a day. Try keeping a book in your bedroom, the living room, and even the bathroom!
- Get a library card: Joining your local library is easy, and libraries have more than books. With a valid library card, you not only get access to hundreds of great books, but you can also check out the latest video games and movies. Visiting a library is also a good way to discover what you like to read.
- Don't stop until you find what interests you: Finding the right book or subject can take time, but don't stop! Maybe you like poetry or you love science fiction or fantasy. Maybe you'll find that you like reading about real people or history. Even comic books count!
- Try something different: If you already have a type of book you like to read, maybe it's time to try something new. Don't ignore comics, magazines, leaflets, graphic novels or nonfiction. As long as you're reading, you are doing something worthwhile.
- Be comfortable: Even the biggest bookworm needs a comfy space to sit and read. Find a spot and snuggle up with a blanket or a cool drink. Sofas and beanbags are great places to read at home.
- Ask yourself questions: Sometimes it's easy to lose the story, and everyone has had that moment of thinking, "what did I just read?" Keep yourself interested by asking questions as you read. Remind yourself who the main characters are, where they are going, and what they plan on doing. If you're feeling adventurous, try to figure out what will happen next!
- Keep a dictionary handy: It can be hard to follow a story if there are words you don't understand. When you run into a new word, don't panic. Pick up a dictionary and look the word up. Think of it as a chance to build your vocabulary.
- Try to read whenever you get the chance: If you can, carry a book or magazine with you. Reading is a wonderful way to distract yourself when you're waiting in a doctor's office or at a bus stop. Remember, even a little bit of reading helps!
- Reread your favorites: Just because you've finished a book doesn't mean you can't read it again. Rereading a book, comic, or magazine is the perfect way to help you build your fluency and confidence. Every story has layers, and you might have missed something the first time around. For an extra challenge, try reading out loud.
- Bring back bedtime stories: You can even get your parents in on this one! If you are really busy with school and homework during the day, think about taking a few minutes before bed to read a chapter or two. Ask your parents for a bedtime story, then read to them instead of the other way around. It's a nice way to end the day and spend time with them.
- Don't avoid works because of the rhymes or repetition: Some books and poems contain rhymes or repeated phrases. Rhymes and repetition are a good way to help you remember new words or even whole sections of your book.
Reading is an excellent way to explore the world and expand your understanding. No matter what you like to read, whether it's science fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, graphic novels, or even cookbooks, never stop reading! Looking for a way to improve your reading? Check out the links below for free online books and fun, interactive games to help with spelling, punctuation, reading comprehension, and grammar.
- Starfall: This website contains several stories to help young readers find their way. With tons of short stories, it's the perfect place to start!
- Storyline Online: Want to be read a story? Then Storyline Online is the place for you. Listen and watch as actors, singers, and other celebrities read animated children's books from all over the world.
- International Children's Digital Library: This completely free online library contains children's books from around the world. You can even download apps so you can access the library from an iPhone or iPad.
- Storynory: This online library features stories from around the world that you can listen to and text so you can read along!
- Professor Garfield's Toon Book Reader: This small collection of online comics is a great place to start for kids working on improving their reading. Read the comics by yourself, or listen and read along! This website can also help kids learning a second language, as each comic is available in multiple languages.
- Bookopolis: Looking for something to read? Then welcome to Bookopolis! This website allows you to connect with other young readers by logging, reviewing, and rating the books you've read.
- Rewordify: Having a hard time understanding what your book is trying to say? Try typing passages into Rewordify! This website takes difficult words and phrases and simplifies them. Just type the sentence or paragraph into the box!
- My Storybook: Help develop your reading skills through writing! My Storybook lets you write and illustrate your own stories using their interactive interface.
- The Cat That Broke the Internet's Back: Funbrain has games, online books, and other activities to help students, including this fun story.
- Roy the Zebra: Follow the adventures of Roy the Zebra on this fun website. Play games and read Roy's story alone or with your parents!
Interactive Help With Reading and Writing
- Comma Chameleon: Clean up your punctuation with this fun, interactive game. Help Comma Chameleon catch flies with the right punctuation!
- Understanding the Text: Not sure where the story is going? Learn tips on how to follow the text with this fun video.
- Fill it In: Get a handle on your contractions with this interactive game. Type in the proper contraction and try to beat your high score!
- Magic Word Adventure: Travel through the world of Yo Gabba Gabba and help the characters find the pieces of the magic word in this fun interactive game for younger kids.
- Robo-Bee: Work on building your vocabulary with Robo-Bee! Choose the right word to complete the sentence or definition.
- Word Frog: Learn the difference between synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms in this interactive game. Choose the right word to feed the frog.
- What's in the Bag: Try this interactive game that helps young children develop listening and speaking skills by guessing the item hidden in a bag based on clues.
- Wordworld: This interactive game from PBS is designed to help young readers learn to spell and bridge the gap between words and objects.
- Sir Readalot: Packed full of fun games to help with reading comprehension, Room Recess is a good place to go to help build your reading skills. Learn the difference between fact and opinion with Sir Readalot, or explore the other games here.
- Mr. Nussbaum's Reading Comprehension: Develop your language skills and reading comprehension with reading samples, quick quizzes, and games designed to help young readers.