I’ve worked with quite a few kids who would rather be dragged by a fast moving snowmobile with their teeth attached to a rope than actually read a book. When I hand them one of these word filled wonders they evaluate the situation very quickly:
- Thickness? (If the number of pages exceed the width of their index finger, then it has to be boring)
- How many pictures? (Equal to or more than a Wimpy Kid book, please)
I’m currently working with several of these type of readers who have not discovered the joys of reading despite frustrating attempts by parents and teachers. I have had some success tossing them a few short stories. The length is perfect for them and I often find these fiction or non-fiction stories will increase their interest in eventually reading something of greater length on the same topic.
Here are sites with free short stories for ages 9-12 that can be read online or printed out in 1-2 pages. Try a few to get your reluctant reader reading.
Highlights Magazine – Yes, you can subscribe to the magazine, but they also offer a selection of free stories. Motivating topics and short interesting tales.
North Carolina State University – A selection of fiction and nonfiction, most only one page. Selection for 3rd-5th grade. The link directs you to the PDF files for fifth grade. Comprehension questions are also included.
Polk Brothers Foundation Education Network – A good variety of one page fiction stories at a 2nd – 10th grade reading level.
Happy weekend! I’ve got a review of THE PET WAR coming in for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.