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A Note to Teachers, Librarians and Parents
Here are some ideas for ways to encourage reading and learning. With
a few modifications, most of these ideas can be used by parents with their
children or by teachers/librarians/leaders in a group setting.
- Read a story and then come up with a different ending or illustrate the story.
- Hold a "Dress-up Day" at your school. Encourage students to dress in costumes
from the books they have read. Science fiction and fantasy themes would make
particularly imaginative costumes.
- Whether in the classroom, library or at home, allocate time each day to read a
story or chapter in a book.
- Create a Reading Centre in your classroom, where students can choose a book
each day, or every other day to take home to read. This gets the parents involved in
reading at home. At the younger levels where parents drop off and pick up their
children, they could be involved in helping the child choose a book.
- Have your class come up with a list of as many science fiction and fantasy
characters as they can. Then make up stories to create new characters and act them
out including sound effects for alien noises and robot sounds.
- Use books on space travel as a springboard for a science lesson. Spark the
children's interest with the story and then hit them with the facts!
- On Halloween make science fiction and fantasy the theme of the day.
- Hold a discussion on what's different between science fiction and fantasy books
and the real world.
- Invite guests with science fiction/fantasy-related professions to the
classroom, such as: astronomers, make-up artists, environmentalists, astronauts,
pilots, palaeontologists, marine biologists, computer specialists. Read related
books to the class beforehand to prepare for the class visit.
- Involve the class in writing a story of another world. Each child can paint a
portion of a mural to illustrate the story. The mural could show what the world
looks like -- the inhabitants, animals , vegetation, etc.
- Read a book to the class and then hold a discussion on the similarities the
students see between the characters in the book and themselves or people they know.
- Ask your students or children to create a poster of an ideal world/planet.
- Plan an "Out of This World Fair" at your school. Include science experiments,
dress in costume, have classes put on plays for the other students in the school.
Decorate the halls with artwork inspired by the imagination.
- Hold a discussion on dreams, have each child write about or draw a picture
describing a dream she/he has had.
- Establish a reading corner and use fabric markers or paint to decorate cushions
with favourite literary characters.
- Create a time capsule for people in the future. Have each child suggest what
she/he would include.
- Have older children read to younger children or help younger children to read.
Reading buddies will strengthen both children's skills.
- Have children write a fantasy story with characters based on people they know.
- Make a planetary or rocketship model as a class project or break the class into
groups to come up with a variety of models to share with their classmates.
- Read a story and think up other titles the book could have had.
- Have a bulletin board where children can post their own book reviews and
- Organize a "Family Reading Fair". Author/illustrator visits, skits prepared by
the children, and resource materials for parents to take home (including the Read Up
On It kit) could all play a part.
- Have your students use shoeboxes to create three-dimensional dioramas using
paint, plasticine, construction paper, Fimo, fabric and other materials. The diorama
could depict a favorite scene from a science fiction or fantasy story or it could
represent a fantasy world. Have your students write about the diorama they create.
- Brainstorm as a class to create the text for the "ABC's of Science Fiction and Fantasy". Have each child illustrate one letter of the alphabet, add the text and then bind the results to create a class book.
- Create a class poetry book on the theme of science fiction and fantasy.
Encourage students to use a wide variety of poetic forms, such as haiku, limericks,
free verse, quatrain and acrostic.