Reading lessons aim to foster a love of reading, build confidence, and equip children with the skills they need to be fluent readers and creative, confident writers.
BEGINNER AND LETTER LEVELS
INTRODUCTION TO READING
LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION AND EXPRESSION
LETTER AND PHONEME RECOGNITION
At the Beginner and Letter Levels, instructors systematically teach children to recognise key combinations of letters using a phonetic chart. Instructors might use words familiar to the children to link specific sounds to their representations on the chart. Children play a variety of phonetics games, discuss their favourite letters and words, and begin to practise writing letters.
The phonetic chart activity in the video above helps children to connect the sounds they hear with specific letters and combinations of letters. For children at Beginner and Letter Levels, instructors use the chart to help them practise recognising sounds, match them to letters, and combine sounds to form words. As the instructor and classmates read the letters, children follow along in their own smaller versions of the phonetic chart. Children take these charts home, where they can continue to practice sounding out letters and phonemes, or forming words. Instructors make phonetics fun by playing games. For example, in Zambia children play the Kambeba (basket) game, where they sing a song as they pass around a basket full of phoneme cards. When the song stops, a child picks a card at random, reads it out to the class, and comes up with a word containing the phoneme. In a variation of the game, children are also asked to write the word with the help of the phonetics chart. To reinforce learning, instructors introduce word-building activities. Children might use homemade flashcards at first, and copy the words they make. They soon progress to writing their own words without the help of the chart or cards.
LANGUAGE EXPRESSION AND COMPREHENSION
At the Word Level, learners continue to build language expression and listening comprehension. Classes begin with an informal chat, led by the instructor, who encourages everyone to participate by using full sentences to tell expressive stories. In each activity, children are encouraged to contribute their own thoughts, build sentences, and think creatively. The Mind Map activity is a great example of how Pratham activities combine discussion, creative thinking, and reading. Children learn to plan and organise their ideas by brainstorming and visually mapping out their ideas before forming words, paragraphs, or stories. The Mind Map can be used for any learning level. See this activity in action in the video below.
GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION
Story level classes read and discuss more complex text. Children read together in their small groups, and answer a series of questions about the text. They infer the meaning of unfamiliar words and move from understanding simple to complex concepts. Instructors come up with exciting ways to encourage reading and discussing stories. See examples of fun story level activities in the video below.