Art and Craft as part of Reading?

by Johnny Ling Leh Wui

There are a lot of reasons why a student dislike reading lesson very much. First, students are shame to read aloud in the class. Secondly, the activity is always related to answering comprehension questions. Reading, asnwering, reading and answering. Nothing more!

It indisputable that reading is all about testing their understanding about a certain text given to them. In fact, supplemented by the exam-oriented society, it pressures most teachers into focusing only the academic angle of education, omitting the fun in reading. But is that all  reading can offer us?  Why not try to turn reading into something more fun and yet still require students to read (fun reading!)

Integrating Art and Craft in Reading!

I could not agree more that when I was in primary school, I was only interested in singing, drawing or colouring – anything that has got to do with art or performance. It was the only catalyst that pushed me towards studying and it worked eventually. However, a teacher must be careful in selecting the order of the activities (either before, during or after reading) to prevent losing the  main purpose of reading . Perhaps the suggested activities bellow are more suitable to be conducted after reading as the closure. The activities of course has to be suitable according to their age.

Activities suitable for primary students.
Primary school students are very enthusiastic when it comes to hands on learning. Therefore, any activities that are related to art is suitable for them. What is being focus here is the language usage in the activity while reading is just subordinate towards their learning.

For instance, provided that children are reading a text on how someone is celebrating his or her birthday. The teacher perhaps can ask the students to use their creativity on how they make a birthday card for the birthday boy or girl in the text.

To make it more interesting, perhaps the teacher can change it into pop ups card.

Other examples of activities are:

a) finger puppets  or character headbands
E.g.: designing their own puppets or headbands and come out with a role
play according to the story line in the text

b) drawings
E.g.: could be anything (picture of their family, their friends) which is related
to the text

c) colouring
E.g.: based on the text, the students colour the picture according to the

d) my story book
E.g.: create their own little short story book (with drawings and pictures)
based on the text given (teacher may provide them with printed

e) vocabulary mobiles
E.g. : a collection of vocabulary in terms of drawings found in a text.

Vocabulary mobiles of fish. It could be others such as vegetables, animals and flowers.












Activities suitable for secondary school students
It is advisable for teachers to choose activities that will encourage students to constantly referring to the text or require students for extended reading outside of classroom in order to accomplish them. For example, advertisement designing and poster designing.

The poster above, for instance, does not only test students understanding about the activity that is stated in the text but also enhance students' creativity in coming out with the motto to be inserted into the advertisement.

Other examples are such as:

a) Webpage designing.
E.g: information webpage such as Global Warming awareness webpage.

b) Designing games out of the article.
E.g. : treasure hunt by getting the hints from the article

c) Dramatizing
E.g. : miming or short role play – to get the insights of the characters in
the text

d) Singing
E.g. : conducting singing session related to the text
(before or after the reading as set induction or closure)

e) photo story
E.g: using certain software to create a electronic storyboard based on a text (story or documentary)

And others, as long as the activity is suitable and meaningful.


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