Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A book that fits

This is the slide show that I've created to accompany my new Yr 4 library induction lessons this year. It has become clear that for many different reasons some of children coming in to the library sometimes end up borrowing books that are too challenging for them to read. By this I mean that the book may be too difficult in terms of their literacy level or not relevant to their age or interests. If you are trying to get someone to read for pleasure this is not a good situation as they will not enjoy reading a book that is too hard for them to read, boring for them or incomprehensible! Some of the main reasons for this happening are I believe peer pressure (they want to read the 'cool' book); not wanting to admit that they are not reading at the same level as their friends; ideas that they have about what they 'should' be reading rather than what they'd like to and also sometimes that they have no idea about how to start finding a book that they'd like to read so they just pick up the first thing that they see.

Surfing the fabulous Pinterest for some inspiration I came across the concept used in a lot of American school libraries to help children "P.I.C.K. a book that fits" so I have adapted it for use in my school and so far it has had interesting results. The 8 year old boys who were asking for the Hunger Games series, The Hobbit and the Percy Jackson series are now asking for the Astrosaurs series, Mr Gum books, Horrid Henry books and books by Roald Dahl and David Walliams for example without any heavy handed intervention by an adult. The shift in the range of books that they are now asking about is quite dramatic and all I had to do was to talk them through the P.I.C.K. model and explain the five finger test rather than having to get into lengthy and potentially embarrassing individual conversations about the books that they were choosing.

I'm hoping that by reinforcing this new model of book selection we can empower the children to choose what's right for them and what they will enjoy!