- Stopwatch or timer
- 2 or more players
- books at appropriate reading level
Instructions For Playing the Game
Before beginning the Stop and Read game, a teacher or parent should seat the children in a circle. This game will be played in increments. The first book should be placed in one of the children's hands. Set the timer or stopwatch for 3 minutes. The child with the book will read out loud from the book until the time is up. Once the time is up, the teacher will say "Pass The Book", at which point the timer should be re-set for 30 seconds. The children will then pass the book around the circle clockwise until the time is up. The person using the timer will yell out "Stop And Read" once the time is up. Whomever is in possession of the book will read for 3 minutes, just like the first child did. The game should continue for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer, providing the children are interested.
Benefits Of Playing Stop and Read
There are many benefits to playing this game with children. This game provides oral reading skills, which are very helpful in school and in the workforce. A child can also learn how to share, as well as learn that not everything in life is fair because some children may get to read more often than others. Hand-eye coordination is also practiced when passing and receiving the book. The more a child reads, the more brain cells he or she will be gaining, which can contribute to absorbing knowledge well. Reading skills help a child to achieve in every academic subject.
How To Handle Disagreements
At times children might argue over who was in possession of the book. When this happens, one solution might be to hand the book back to the last reader and start the "Pass The Book" round over again. Some children might complain if others get to read more often. One solution could be to just encourage the children to continue play and let them know there's a chance they might get to read on another round. Each instance will be different, so base your response to the child's argument on each child and situation. Just be sure that your response incites positive behavior from the child.
Every child is different. While some children will enjoy and benefit from this activity, there is no guarantee that every child will. Use your own discretion when implementing ideas into a child's curriculum or educational activities.
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*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network