5 – 7

The king with donkey’s ears


The king with donkey’s ears

What to do with this activity?

Click on the yellow Activity link below for a story from Ask About Ireland. We suggest you download the PDF version if the .swf file doesn't open for you. You might read it aloud with your 5 to 7 year old. It's a story about a king in ancient Ireland who had a terrible secret. 

The website gives you the option of hearing the book sentence by sentence, or you can click to hear a single word if you want. There is also a version of the story in Irish.

After reading the story together, have a chat about how much happier the king feels once the secret that is worrying him is revealed. It's better to talk out loud about the things that worry us isn't it? 

  • 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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