Teaching Reading: Using story books


Currently I’ve been teaching pre-school, primary, as well as secondary school students. Among all levels, the toughest one would be the pre-school students! Yes, because they are too curious and still do not really get well in turn-takings while conversing (as if you have lots of ears to lend to *sigh*). But, patience is the key, peeps!

Since we are approaching the school holiday, the boss requested to have Ā ‘English Months’ for November and December. So we will not be focusing on the techniques of answering exam questions anymore, instead we are trying to enhance their basics in major English language skills which are reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Teaching Reading Skills Through Story books

I remembered my previous post on Dr.S’ advice on creating independent readers. Then I got an idea to teach my primary school kids reading. So I went to the library and borrowed story books that have simple words together with moral values. The interesting part is that 1 book consists of many stories, and a story is only one page long. šŸ™‚

These are some books that I used for my lesson:

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The Crab and the Fox and other stories.

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The Ox and the Flea and other stories.


One of the stories that I read with my students in our first reading class.


  1. Have a set induction (or ice-breaking session) so that students can get themselves ready to learn. You can have theĀ charadeĀ orĀ guessing-gameĀ to highlight your main idea of the story.
  2. Photocopy and distribute the story to your students. Make sure everyone gets a copy for a more effective reading (no need to share and they can read easily & clearly). Tell them that they will be reading a story.
  3. Ask your students to read the TITLE of the story first. This is to ensure that they will get a general overview about the topic of the story. (P/s: Getting the main idea is a technique in reading skills)
  4. Read together. Ask a student to read whileĀ others listen and look at their papers. Or the teacherĀ may read first, and students follow afterwards so that they know the correct pronunciation of the words in the text.
  5. Discuss the meaningĀ of each sentence you read with students. Try to use translation word by word so that they can make sense of the sentences they read.
  6. Underline/highlight unfamiliar words.Ā This is when they learn something new in reading! Instead of introducing sentence structure and pronunciation skill, you are encouraging them to learn new vocabularies from the text. Ask them to write the meaning on the same paper for their future reference. (You know, this is good forĀ kinesthetic learnersĀ who learn best through ‘hands-on’ activities.) šŸ˜‰
  7. Reflect the story read. Ask students questions about their opinions on the story, the moral values, and characters that they can find in the story. Ask them to tell the story in their own words by summarizing the whole story. This can be done with good questioning skill and interaction between teacher and students.

Reading can be a rocket science for some people, but once your students are already used to it, they might slowly love reading as they may understand what they read. When you are looking for reading materials, make sure youĀ understand your students’ level of proficiencyĀ and let it suit their interest and needs. Too many bombastic words can be quite boring. You also won’t like reading and flipping through dictionary all the time, right?

All the best, and happy teaching! šŸ™‚

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