How to Engage Young Readers |

3 Ways to Engage Young Readers

Happy Thursday, Shopkickers! First grade teacher Mrs. Lamb filmed another segment today on Facebook Live. Because we want to make sure we’re answering the questions you have, Mrs. Lamb answered one of your questions today. She shared three great tips about how to keep young readers engaged, and we have the recap below.

Lego Sight Words

Mrs. Lamb touched on the importance of sight words for young readers, and she revealed a fun new way to help students to learn them – Legos! Simply write one letter on one (or both) sides of a Lego brick. Keep going until you have a collection. Then ask your student to create sight words with the lettered bricks.

By participating in this learning activity, they’re learning about:

  • Fine Motor Skills – The act of making mini groupings of Legos helps with this.
  • Letter Identification – Your student must know which letter is on the Lego in order to use it.
  • Spelling – Your student is learning how to spell their sight words while they’re building.
  • Sentences – Once your student has built a few words, ask him or her to create sentences using the groupings.

Roll + Read

Similar to creating words with Legos, Roll + Read allows kids to be interactive while reviewing sight words. The idea is simple: create a mini board with the numbers 1-6 written vertically down the side. Next to each number add three sight words across the board horizontally. It helps to use a whiteboard if possible!

In order to learn, your student will roll a dice and choose a word from the row associated with the dice’s number from the board. They will read it out loud, and as long as it’s correct, erase it from the board. This is a great activity for kids to do independently, and you could also turn it into a game to see how fast the board can be completed. Then, decide on a fun reading reward! 

How to make a whiteboard:

  • DVD Case:
    • Remove the front and back covers from a white DVD case. Leave the plastic on.
    • Use a permanent or whiteboard marker to write on the board.
    • Use an old sock to erase.
  • One Gallon Bag:
    • Place white computer paper inside a zipped one gallon bag. If you use a mini stack, it will be easier to write on the board.
    • A permanent marker, whiteboard marker, and an old sock work here too.

Roll + Retell

Mrs. Lamb’s final tip to engage young readers is called Roll + Retell. This PDF from Fun in First is a great tool because it offers prompts for readers to answer about the key components of a story, like characters, setting, and more. Each component of a story is associated with a number from a dice, so you or your student will want to roll the dice in order to see which story question they should answer. Roll + Retell is interactive and fun, plus it’s also ensuring your student is learning and absorbing while enjoying listening or reading books. 

If you’re looking for great story resources, visit YouTube! Plenty of authors, illustrators, and celebrities have been taking to the internet to read to young students. Your kids will be busy for a while!

How do you encourage your young reader to read? Let us know and make sure to tune into Mrs. Lamb’s next Facebook Live segment on Tuesday!



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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.