How to help a resistant reader and use YouTube to promote reading?

Do you have a child that resists sitting to listen to a book? Or maybe you have a child you want to pick up a book and at least take a picture walk?

Modeling how to read a book we call read alouds in the education world.

It’s almost the same as when a parent and child sit and read, but it has a little more intentionality in it since the educator sets a goal.

If the goal is to get the child attending to the book, then the best way to do that is to get them involved in new and creative ways.

There are many benefits to a read aloud and so many fun ways to do them. But have you tried recording them with your kids on a video?

You know many kids today are fascinated with screens.

So why not use it to your advantage?

Try to record yourselves during a short book and see what happens. Then try it again with a longer book and add some interaction or reflection questions.

Some reflection questions might be:

  • "What happened to (the character)?"

  • "What do you think might happen next?"

  • "What would you do if you were ...?"

  • "How do you think (the character) felt?"

In this video my son and I tried a new idea using an app to make us look like we’re holograms. We had so much fun!

We read Mortimer by Robert Munsch.

Robert Munsch has been one of my favorite children’s authors over all these years. I got to watch him read one of his books to a kindergarten class back in the 90s and saw the way he engaged the children.

He definitely didn’t have any expectations for the kids to listen quietly.

Instead, he got them fully interactive in a call and response type of ritual. For example, he would read a line and encourage the kids to read with him.

The book was repetitive so the kids knew what to expect and how to participate.

I was in awe at how well the class paid attention and loved how actively engaged they were.

As I got my teaching degree and began working with kids I couldn’t help but copy Robert’s style.

Years later I still love to infuse my silliness with kids to capture their attention.

I’ve probably done hundreds of read alouds in educational settings and countless times with my son since that initial observation of Robert in action.

And what I learned is that kids copied my enthusiasm!

With various kids I especially loved reading Robert Munsch's books. Whethre it was a 4 year old or an 8 year old, they all love them, And this Mortimer is one of the classics. Now my son loves his books too!

That’s why this YouTube video is a treasure. It has me and my son reading Mortimer.

We used a filter on PhotoBook (an App on the Macbook), but you could try this with any kind of filter you have on a movie app. If you have some fun filters you can change up the recordings to add some extra silliness to it.

What’s important to note is that the learning didn’t stop with this video.

Later when I was busy, I saw my son recording and reading the book to his stuffed animal. He was independent! Even at 5! He couldn't decode the words, but he was reading!

Can you imagine that?