Year 5/6 Reading. Reading for pleasure

Reading for Pleasure
Researcher: C McCarron Minchinhampton
Context: Year 5/6 Reading. Target group: resistant readers.

Desired Outcomes: To inspire target children to move from being competent readers, to having a genuine desire and passion to read. Who search out new books and authors and to discover that curling up with a book at home is a pleasurable thing to do.

Method 1: Reading questionnaire. Q & A based on ‘Reading for Pleasure’ and ‘Power of Reading’ questioning around reading.
Method 2: Ongoing dialogue via link books and a once a week session with pupil and teacher discussing character, setting, likes, dislikes, connections, patterns.

The opening questionnaire dialogue was in depth and really challenged pupils to think about the how, why and when they read. It also looked at the pupils’ knowledge of authors, poets, fiction and non-fiction. The children were very open about their reading habits including likes and frustrations. The children needed very little prompting to talk at length about reading. The biggest surprise was how little they knew about poetry and poets.

The reading dialogue that took place over several weeks then built upon the premise that a frequent reading habit is desirable. A better quality of book was encouraged as well as stickability and a more varied reading diet.

Pupils were gradually drawn into a deep discussion about their book and came to the short sessions with a sense of excitement to talk about where they had got to each week.

The children were also exposed to a variety of poets and poems through assemblies and end of day reading. As a result they can now ask by name for a poem they have enjoyed and would like to be read again.

1. The pupils enjoyed being conferenced on what they thought of their book and their ‘book talk’ grew in confidence and clarity.
2. The dialogue from these vocabulary poor pupils was surprisingly rich in their emotional response to the text even although they didn’t always have the right word to express themselves. They were more open to learning a good word that would help them to articulate their response..
3. We need to build our menu of poetry.
4. The project needs a longer time to reach the stage where ‘readers for life’ have been created.
5. The 1:1 adult attention has had a significant impact on reading for these target children.

‘Reading for Pleasure’ by Kenny Pieper
‘Tell Me’ by Aidan Chambers
‘Power of Reading programme at CLPE.

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