Learning to read together at Natebe Primary
Natebe Book Club started in May this year (2015) with the aim of improving the English reading and writing skills of children in Grades 5-7 who attend this school. Book Club takes place every Wednesday morning for 2 hours and reaches over 35 children.
On the 10th of June 2015, two interns, one volunteer, and one staff member went to Natebe to deliver this week’s lesson in Book Club.
Before we began Book Club, we assessed the reading ages of the children so that we could ensure they were grouped appropriately, and the programme was delivered according to their current abilities. Whilst the chronological age of our children reflects Grades 5-7, their reading ages spans 0-14 years.
We started with the basics for our first group, who have the lowest levels of English. We spent time practicing the English alphabet and making sure they were in the correct order. We moved on to spelling basic small words, which was accomplished by giving the children an image of the word.
Our second (intermediate) group worked on improving their reading of English words. As a group they went over the words in the story they were to read. They were asked to create actions based on the words that were being read to them. Following that exercise the group listened to the intern read the story to them. The children were then asked to read the story on their own while the intern went from pupil to pupil to hear them read part of the story to see if they are understanding what they are hearing and reading. The final activity was a spelling test based on the new words that were in the book.
Our final and most advanced group studied reading comprehension. These children were asked to look at the title and front of the book and predict what they thought would happen throughout the story. They were asked to read the back of the book and compare what they predicted to what the back of the book was telling them. The group proceeded to read the book on their own. We discussed any words or phrases they didn’t understand. The intern then read the story to them. We discussed what the story was about and answered any questions that the children had about the story. From there the pupils read the story together. The final activity was to ask questions about the story, which encouraged the children to think deeper and answer in English. The pupils were also asked questions that would encourage them to make comparisons between their lives and the ones in the story.
All of the children at our new Book Club at Natebe School are showing signs of progress at this early stage, and we’re all excited to see them again next week!