Object-Based Reading: A Creative Approach to Relaxed Bilingual Discussions

Nov 06, 2023

In the journey of raising bilingual children, the benefits of reading are well-established. However, the process of delving into the world of literature in a foreign language can sometimes be accompanied by stress and apprehension. Imagine a scenario where the traditional stressors associated with language learning are replaced with a more tangible, hands-on experience. What if you could transform the process of discussing books into a creative and enjoyable endeavor? Let’s explore the concept of “Object-Based Reading” — a novel approach aimed at making bilingual literary discussions not only educational but also comfortable and stress-free.

  • Paper Plate Story Wheels: Provide each child with a paper plate, toothpicks, and markers. Instruct them to divide the paper plate into sections, each representing a different part of the book (beginning, middle, end, characters, setting, etc.). Using toothpicks, they can create spinners pointing to these sections. During the discussion, children can rotate the plate to focus on specific aspects, reducing stress by providing a visual and interactive tool.
  • Cotton Ball Emotion Clouds: Supply cotton balls, and colored markers. Ask the children to create “emotion clouds” by coloring cotton balls to represent different emotions experienced by characters in the book. During the discussion, they can use these clouds to express feelings without directly discussing individuals, fostering a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Map the Words with Pasta: Provide various types of pasta (penne, spirals, etc.). Instruct children to choose different pasta shapes to represent specific words or concepts from the book. This tactile approach can help shift the focus from discussing characters to exploring the language and themes.
  • Button Characters: Give each child a collection of buttons and ask them to assign different buttons to represent characters in the book. During the discussion, they can use these button characters to interact with each other, adding a playful element to the conversation and easing the stress associated with discussing complex narratives.
  • String Theory Connections: Provide colorful yarn and small cards. Instruct children to write key themes, characters, or events on the cards and tie them with yarn. They can then use these interconnected objects to visually represent the relationships between different elements in the story, making it easier to discuss complex narratives without direct focus on individuals.

For bilingual children, the act of reading in a second language brings forth a unique set of challenges. The pressure to comprehend, interpret, and articulate thoughts in an unfamiliar language can overshadow the joy of exploring new worlds through literature. Including a variety of objects like toothpicks, paper, cotton balls, pasta, buttons, and yarn can create a diverse and engaging toolkit for bilingual children to explore and discuss literature in a stress-free manner. You may play at any time; and if you need an online teacher for your bilingual kid, contact the online school Bingo to book your free trial lesson!