Magazines are a great way of encouraging children to read. Especially if they are into football.
If you have football-loving children, then you will probably already know about Match, Match of the Day and Kick, the three football magazines aimed at children today. They all have special Euro 2012 editions out at the moment and would be a good present for children this Bank Holiday.
All three have lots of photos, statistics and quizzes, but may look short on text. They're great for the kind of children who really struggle with reading more than a page of a book without feeling it's a chore. But also great for more fluent readers.
There are some really good Euro 2012 magazines and books around this week that have a little more wording in them. ITV, World Soccer, The Daily Express, FourFourTwo and others have produced special editions. They are in the newsagents and bookshops now.
These can be great as a way of encouraging reading in less-than-keen readers. Here are five ways you can use them to do just that:
1. Look at the fixture list or wall chart provided free with some of the guides. Put it on the wall. Challenge your child to predict who will win each group. Then suggest they read some of the content of the magazine to decide on how the results will go.
2. Show your child the two-page feature on a team in the magazine an hour before they kick off. Suggest they read about the team England is playing so that they are fully informed. Or read it to them.
3. Challenge them to a quiz. Give them the magazine for half-an-hour, saying you will quiz them on its contents (like, who is the top scorer in Spain, or, what colour is the Swedish flag). This could motivate them to read it - especially if you offer them a prize for getting so many questions right: something nice to eat or drink during the game, perhaps?
4. Stick page of the magazine around the house. On doors. In the kitchen. On the back of your car seat.
5. Show them the statistics pages in the back of most of the magazines. Stats and numbers are a great way of grabbing football fans' attention, to then lead them into reading some of the words.
Now you just need to choose the right magazine for you. You can read my review of most of the Euro 2012 guides here. I wrote these reviews with a class of year sixes in Essex, so they're about as honest as they could be.
Check out http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/schools_teaching/euro_2012 for loads more ideas about using Euro 2012 to encourage children to read more.