- Have students select something they want to read several weeks in advance. Great options: poems, scary stories, jokes, Chicken Soup for the Soul type stories, or weird true stories. Every student wanted to read jokes, so I put five on a page for each student.
- Have the students reading in groups, so they get to hear different stories (see picture of yellow paper). We rotated every 15 minutes, so we were able to be with different dogs and hear different stories.
- In preparation for the event we also worked on introducing ourselves, our story, and asking questions about our story to the small group.
Reading Isn't Ruff is a program within the Los Angeles Area that brings trained therapy dogs to libraries and public schools so that students can read to them. This serves the purpose of lowering the affective filter for students (especially those who struggle with reading). We experienced first hand how having animals around truly does lower stress levels. Everyone had a blast! Even if you don't live in the Los Angeles area there might be a program like this at your local shelter. Here are a couple of tips to ensure the event runs smoothly:
Ms. Young is a teacher who wants to keep a record of what works!