What to do with this activity?
Here's a free ebook you can download and read at bedtime.
The story is called "Axle, the Freeway Cat". Axle works as a litter collector for the Department of Highways and lives in an abandoned car under the flyover. He seems quite happy, but is all alone in a busy world. One day there is a big traffic jam, and he finds a friend. After you read it, have a conversation about Axle and modern city life.
This book is from the non-profit International Children's Digital Library which has the world’s largest digital collection of children’s books. The digital library collection includes 4,619 books in 59 languages. Explore the website and you might find some treasures in English or other languages to read with your child.
By the way, in Ireland we would use the word "motorway" for "freeway" or "highway".
Why am I doing this?
The written word is everywhere and by pointing out words around you everyday, your child will realise the usefulness of reading and how it brings information and knowledge of the wider world into your lives.
Reading together shows your child that you think reading is important. It helps your child to link the words on the page to how they are spoken and to begin to recognise words.
How can I do more?
Encourage your child to read by giving them books or information about what they are interested in, for example, if they are interested in cars, give them books about cars – it’s a great motivator. Use comics, magazines and newspapers to provide lots of new words and facts. Your child can use the pictures for information about the words they are reading.
Read longer books to your child. This will help with memory.
You could do ‘paired reading’ – your child chooses a book or comic to read.
- At first, both of you read aloud together. When the child is ready, they carry on reading alone.
- If they don’t know a word, you say it for them and both of you continue to read together until they are ready to read alone again.
- No pressure is made to get them to read by themselves. They only do it when they are ready. This is useful with older children when they find text books difficult.
Your child might like to practise their reading skills by reading to younger children.
Discuss with your child’s teacher if they are having difficulty reading.
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