Education Boutique’s recommended reading list covers a variety of genres and themes with the aim to assist in preparing your child for 11+ exams. A strong and sophisticated vocabulary is important when taking these exams and while vocabulary flash cards are a great learning tool, the most organic way for children to pick up new vocabulary is through reading.
When immersed in a book, children are reading the words in context and while they may not recognise the word they can very often work out the meaning of new words with clues from the sentence. If they can’t decode the meaning of the new word they should have a dictionary, electronic bookmark dictionary or a tablet on hand for quick reference. Another good tip is for children to keep a little notepad handy so they can write new words (along with synonyms) in the book to revisit at a later date. This will ensure consolidation of new words.
It can sometimes be a struggle to get children to read books on topics they are not familiar with or have not shown much interest in before, so we suggest taking the ‘one for your head and one for your heart’ approach; children can read a new book from the list and then read one of their favourites (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter or a David Wallaims story etc.)
Reading books of different topics and genres will also assist children’s writing, they see the texts modelled and structured accurately and it expands the topics they are able to confidently write about.
Brooke McClure, Lead Resource Teacher at Education Boutique