One of the things I try to do with my kids after reading to them, is activities that build on the book we have just read. It can be the theme e.g Teacher’s Day, or the character e.g rabbit, or just a color. These 阅读延伸活动 are a big part of learning because they get the children more involved in the stories. The goal is to:
- Further their understanding （of what you have read)
- Express themselves
- Reflect or think more deeply about the issues
- Experience what they have read
Jaymee and I read 黄雨伞(Yellow Umbrella) and she was fascinated by the story. It is about a little porcupine who learnt about responsibility and sharing when she lost her yellow umbrella.
Since I had a bit more time before I went off to work, I encouraged her to draw the umbrellas we saw in the book. I always make sure the kids have access to paper and lots of coloring material e.g crayons, pencils, markers. We keep them all in a messy box!
It was really interesting because from her drawings, I could tell which parts of the story she understood or appealed to her.
While she was drawing and after, we chatted about her drawing and the story – in simple Mandarin.
It gave me so much satisfaction to know that we both got much more out of that one book, than if we had just read and returned the book to the library. By doing a related activity, it also helps retention.
Here are some other ideas for things you can do with your child after reading:
(1) Use play dough or clay to make the animals or objects in the book (see my video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6cxYQD3Xjg )
(2) Watch a short video on something related to the book. You’d be surprised. You may just find the exact same title on YouTube or Tudou.
(3) Go on an excursion to experience what you have read. In the case of “Yellow Umbrella”, we can head to shop for an umbrella. Or go to the zoo to see a real life porcupine!
(4) Act out one or two scenes from the book. Get the other kids involved if you can!
(5) Ask questions based on the 5 Ws and 1H.
(6) If your child is older, get him to retell the story back to you or another member of the family.
Share your ideas below if you have any!