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Drawing literal interpretations of idioms
Have students draw literal interpretations of idioms. (Considering the literal meaning will probably help them to understand the figurative meaning.)
Rather than having students write lengthy book reports, have them complete brief "recommended reading" forms for books they especially enjoy.
Writing a sentence summary that is true of the whole book but is not true of many books can be a real challenge. Post these recommendations on a bulletin board, or keep them in a file or notebook where students can make use of others' suggestions. After several students have read some of the same books, a literary community begins to develop, and interest in books should spiral upward.
Parents, read some of the same books your children are reading. Some children's books are among the best books ever written. Even if the book isn't one of your favorites, it will provide a basis for discussion between you and your child, and it will show your child that you value reading. Many children prefer to discuss books with parents above anyone else. Another way to share books is to read different books on the same topic, comparing the ideas that each of you finds.