Kids like playing with toys and games, as we know. And this has led people to think about turning books into toys and games so that children can play and learn. Inspired by that idea five or six years ago, Somsong Naulsnit, a teacher from Wat Koh Daeng School in Prachin Buri, has provided many activities that include books or the content in books as part of her students’ toys and games since then.
Moreover, books have been an effective tool to engage students in nearby communities and bring new knowledge to local people, to apply with their living for about 10 years.
Somsong’s reading promotion activities were acknowledged recently when she won first place in the teacher category of reading promotion innovation awards given by Quality Learning Foundation (QLF).
“I have initiated many new book games and activities for my students to try, as I want them to like books and feel familiar to books as if they are their toys and games,” Somsong said.
Among the interesting games and activities, she has allowed pupils from kindergarten to primary education levels to play the role of booksellers who compete with their friends to convince other students to buy their books using different techniques. Also, the teacher gives scores to encourage students who play the role of customers to read more books.
Somsong has had them play golf, darts, bowling and a detective role. While playing such games, questions from books or papers will appear in games to encourage the players to read and find the answers. She has also given them opportunities to write stories about their views and read each others’ stories.
Every week, the pupils visit nearby communities with baskets of books and convince locals to read and borrow the books.
“Meeting locals so often, the students want to learn about the communities’ background and way of life. I’ve allowed them to learn from the communities, like how they grow vegetables, raise chicken and cook local desserts and write their own small books from what they’ve learnt there.
“Farmers have tried making organic fertiliser and cooking desserts using new formulas and recipes they read from books in the students’ baskets. We have a closer tie with locals and support each other in many ways,” she said.
“The students like reading, searching for knowledge and expressing themselves.”
Second place went to Linlada Chaomanas from Anuban Chiang Mai School and third place was for Pathumrat Seethoop from Ban Pongkeng School.
Meanwhile, a group of students at Lampang Vocational College has taken some interesting content from 37 recommended books for youths and put them in different games that they like and are familiar with since last year.
Lampang student Nilwaree Tatu, 17, said her group had invited friends at the college and in different communities at home to play their games.
“We’ve used the games to arouse them to read the full content of the books. We’ve seen 80 per cent of our targets read more,” she said.
The college won third place in the general category. First place went to Ban Hongkhon School and second was Na-Nguewwittayasun School.
The awards were recently given at the 41st National Book Fair held at Queen Sirikit Convention Centre in an attempt to promote reading by QLF.
Published in The Nation , 8 April 2013