How do you teach a Yr 4 Boy to love English(22 Posts)
My DS doesn't enjoy English at school. He hates writing stories and preparing plans and rushes through a comprehension, missing points.
Would appreciate any guidance in what I can do to help/guide him. School told us to practise comprehension and stories but not sure where to start as he always says he has no ideas and writes in a brief and hurried manner. He is a great reader but not writer!
Purely from my own DS: Reading things of interest no matter what they are is often a good starting point for comprehension skills - if you are interested in something, the information sticks better.
If necessary, read him the first bit of something you know he'll like and leave it with him once he's hooked and wants to know what happens next. Even if it is a cartoon strip or graphic novel or magazine article about football stats - whatever it is that he genuinely tunes into. DS loved books like the Guinness Book of Records and they are actually quite good for practicing comprehension skills as the layout is easy and there are definite facts to be picked out.
Written answers are laborious but the same skills can be initially honed by reading the same book / article as him and then talking over key points in the passage building up to things like 'why do you think the writer focused on that bit so much?' or 'do you think it was serious or meant to be fun?' as well as factual questions like What was Bobs dog called then?
For writing skills you can use anything he reads and enjoys (or even computer games if he is into them) as a starting point. Get him to make up an alternative ending out loud and come up with some of your own. Again, it doesn't have to be written at first, just get some ideas flowing, talk about some good descriptions or storyline twists.
I found with my DS that the creativity and analytical skills were there already once hed practiced a bit but he was just
really a bit lazy slow getting them on paper so we did that last once the rest was in place.
Rather than start with planning stories, have a play with Rory's Story Cubes :-) www.storycubes.com/ - shop around for best price. There's also a lovely app.
Roll the cubes and make up a story. Don't write, just talk. The stories can be as silly as you like. It's just fun to do in any spare moment.
As he gets more confident, he'll start to use the natural language of narrative. "Suddenly..." "The next day... "Meanwhile..."
It'll develop ... then just let him write without planning. Let his ideas flow.
THEN think about planning a bit.
We struggle with this a lot, and for now have largely just removed the writing part from the equation, he either types himself, or dictates to me, which has removed a lot of the problem, but isn't a long term solution. Writing doesn't hurt him physically since he got some pen grips, but he doesn't have great letter formation, so it's slow for him compared to telling the story verbally, or typing.
He hasn't noticed yet that if he types/dictates his homework, I always end up asking him to write a long list of something for me later that day...
I would encourage reading as much as you can. Him reading to you. You reading to him. And CD audio books. As a "fun" rather than "work" activity.
my Y4 DS does love english but only intermittently reads books at home_ he was obsessed with beast quest books in Y2 and goes hot and cold on things now (eg liked me reading lord of the rings & the hobbit but would not be able to read it himself). we still read to him and he loves comics.
he took to writing his own beast quest style stories and loves to write on the laptop if i let him... would this appeal to your son??
we have had a fab english teacher this year and i think it has made a big difference to the formal english eg comprehension - these skills can be taught
Practice comprehension just by talking about stories you see or read (yes even on telly & DVDs). The more practice he has telling the story back to you the more articulate he becomes about telling any story. Just discuss narratives together. "Do you remember when...?" stuff.
As a secondary English teacher, I think that this is very eloquent.
Sorry, I didn't read your post fully. I see that you say he is a big reader. I think the writing will follow - it does seem to come later for some boys. The way literacy is taught sometimes can be a bit deadening. They have to write to a specific task and many kids find this tedious, because it is
Just keep him loving reading and he will be able to write well eventually. I sit with my DS and help a lot with literacy homework so he has the experience of writing something he is really proud of. I
force help him plan paragraphs and make him spend some time thinking of a killer opening and closing line. I also encourage him to think of interesting words (a thesaurus is quite fun). If he hands in written homework that he is proud if, he might start transferring done of these skills to school
This helped my DS who was at a level 3 at the end if y5 for writing. He now enjoys literacy and is finishing primary at a much more respectable NC level.
Hope this helps
is it fiction he doesn't like writing? I wonder if perhaps he could be persuaded to practice writing non fiction type stuff, an account of half term, book reviews, his favourite history/geography topic. that would give quite good writing practice and then perhaps you could help him see how he could turn his knowledge of romans or Africa into making a story.
I would start with non fiction and start by discussing the topic and writing down subtopics within one subject. And then let him populate the topic with his observations verbally while I did the writing/note taking. And once we had a plan of what we wanted to write I would start out with him doing the writing but just restrict it to half a page of A4 or less per day, (unless he wanted to do more.) If he (or I) was any good at drawing I'd illustrate it too.
The Usborne Write Your Own Story Book is 8 yrs plus and my yr3 boy has loved it.
If he likes reading then I absolutely promise you he will be fine: Year 4 is very young and an awful lot is asked of kids in primary school.
Do you have to love English and maths? Or is a disinterested proficiency adequate?
Thanks so much for all your replies. There are lots of really useful suggestions which I will use with him.
I am hopeful it will come eventually but his belief that he isn't good at it and therefore doesn't want to do it can be tiring at homework time!!
Just talk to him in English, don't tell him to learn anything for the time being. Simply talk in the language, and when he likes he may respond to you in the same language or may ask the spelling of a certain word.
Personally I'd dump the writing, he will learn much more and be more inspired reading exciting interesting books instead. Eventually all the knowledge built up through reading will just spill on to the page when writing - without effort! Making him slog writing things out at home is the way to kill any interest.
We had the same issues with my DS but being a bookwork, now in Y6 he writes like an author!
I don't think a love of reading automatically translates into a love of writing at all, any more than a love of watching football means that you'll be any good at playing it.
My ds is a reader- and loves everything about books and talking about them and analysing them and everything- but still, in year 7, hates writing. He does it because he has to- but if he could deliver all his homework verbally he would be ecstatic!
I'm another who is letting it go.
One of my twin boys is like this.All 3 are avid readers,dd adores literacy,dtwin 2 likes it and has lovely spelling,punctuation and handwriting(is often writing stories,in notebooks etc).
Dtwin1 year 4(who actually has an amazing imagination)not so much.I get a bit miffed that more isn't done to entice kids like this but not much you can do at home imvho.
Said twin is left handed and often says his hand hurts which puts him off however he reads avidly,has good handwriting and I'm simply ensuring his spelling,punctuation are good too.He will have his day and go be honest I get fed up with this every child must be an amazing creative writer thing,all adults aren't.
As long as DS has super spelling,punctuation and handwriting I'll be happy.I'm convinced he'll be more of a science writer and will focus on maths and science subjects instead of Eng Lit like me at school.
Alphabet Glue has some great book making and fun,short creative writing ideas.We'll do a few of those over the hols (story rocks)and spelling,punctuation work books which he doesn't mind as it doesn't involve pages of writing.We have all the story cubes too.
We have the Usborne How to Write Stories mentioned further down but it is still a chore for him,the other two love their copy.
Short and sweet,fun, on his own terms is what DS can cope with.
I don't think you can "teach" a love of anything all you can hope is that your own enthusiasm for the subject rubs off but sometimes you have to accept that the best you can hope for is a proficiency without the love.
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