Monday, 28 January 2013

10 Tips for Parents: Using the Six Nations to get your kids reading

The 2013 RBS Six Nations tournament runs from 2nd February to 16th March, with England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy competing to be the northern hemisphere's top rugby nation.

For parents with children interested in rugby - or sport in general - this is a great chance to get them reading. For pleasure.

Here are 10 quick tips on rugby reading that your children could try as the tournament progresses in the next six weeks.

ONE: download the RBS Six Nations app and keep up to date with official news updates, match analyses and player profiles

TWO: read a copy of the latest Rugby World magazine, packed with interviews and expert anaylsis of the tournament - also try The Rugby Paper

THREE: go to the library and borrow rugby books about players, teams, coaching and the history of the game

FOUR: follow previews to the Six Nations in newspapers - on paper online

FIVE: read one of several children's stories about rugby, including The Rugby Zombies by Dan Anthony, Rugby Spirit by Gerard Siggins and Scrum by Tom Palmer

SIX: check out some of the best sports websites for very up-to-date information and videos of key highlights - is a great one

SEVEN: read one of the new books published in time for the Six Nations, checking out your local library or bookshop, with When Rugby was Rugby or the World Rugby Records 2012 book looking good

EIGHT: buy official RBS Six Nations 2013 magazine, to have on the arm of your sofa as you watch the games

NINE: leave any of the above lying around the house, on the kitchen table or as a screen saver on the home computer, if you have one.

TEN: read some of the above together with your children - reading with kids and talking to them about what you are reading is a great way of finding things out - and a great way of embedding reading in them as a thing to do for pleasure

There are other resources that can help parents, teachers and librarians encourage children to read. Check out my last blog for free schools' packs, book lists and other ideas.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Six Nations Rugby 2013

The RBS Six Nations tournament kicks off on February 2nd. It is a great opportunity to get boys reading for pleasure.

Rugby Books for Children

First of all a book list. There are not many rugby books for children. But this is what there is:

(1) The Rugby Zombies series by Dan Anthony. Published in Wales by Pont. Three boys meet fifteen zombies in the woods: all the zombies are wearing Welsh rugby union tops. It is funny, moving and very good for rugby fans. Age 8+.

(2) Rugby Spirit by Gerard Siggins. Published by O'Brien in Ireland. Great story about a boy who joins a new school where his granddad was a heroic rugby union player. Age 8+.

(3) The Flea Thing by Brian Falkner. Published by Walker. About a very fast New Zealand
rugby league player. Very good read. 8+

(4) Scrum! by Tom Palmer. Published by Barrington Stoke. A rugby league and union novel. Two rugby codes. A dad and a step dad. North vs south. Lots of conflict. Dyslexia friendly. 8+

Free Rugby reading resources

(1) The National Literacy Trust has a free pack called Love Rugby: Love Reading. I wrote it. You can download it here. It was written for the 2011 World Cup, but most of it is general enough to be useful now. It is full of activity ideas for promoting reading through the love of rugby.

(2) I have produced a reading and writing pack based around my own rugby novel, Scrum! It is called Rugby Reading. Again it is free and available here. From five-minute fun activities to writing your own rugby stories in class. Plus activities based around reading my book.

Author Events

I am going to be doing a tour of schools during the Six Nations, running my Rugby Reading Game. It involves a quiz, talking about rugby reading and a kicking competition. More info about that here.

And if you need to know the Six Nations fixures, to plan good days for your activities, go here.
Enjoy the tournament. I will.