In case you missed the news, J.K. Rowling has been releasing chapters of a new book called The Ickabog, one at a time, straight to the internet so that kids all over the world can read it. It’s a very different kind of tale compared to the world of Harry Potter. But we love the behind The Ickabog – how the story is part of the childhood of Rowling’s youngest children – and that she’s recreating the experience to some degree.
You know how much we love getting a little extra mileage out of everything! Here’s three ways to hop into using the story of The Ickabog at home for some bonus education.
1. Participate in the illustration contest – or just draw along to let your imagination run wild.
You may have noticed that people all over social media are drawing pictures for The Ickabog – and that’s because the publishers of the books are holding competitions to have children’s art included in the eventually published copy of the book! Canadian residents are permitted to enter the Scholastic-run illustration competition, which ends on July 17. Be sure to check the rules out at the link above.
But even if you decide not to participate in the contest, illustrating The Ickabog is a great way to challenge your child. It requires critical reading to pick up any clues about the subject they’re drawing, it’s a great kickstart for the imagination, and art is great for gross and fine motor coordination! Try having them draw characters or maps from the story.
2. Have them compare and contrast with another story they love – like Harry Potter
Comparing and contrasting is also another great way to build reading comprehension, and this is a very important life skill for kids to develop. Comparing and contrasting requires that kids critically evaluate two or more objects and find similarities and differences between them. This exercise also teaches children how to organize information and their thoughts as they articulate these things.
We use this skill every day of our adult lives, though we’re not often aware of it. The next time you’re deciding what item to buy or pick, think about how you’re using comparing and contrasting to help you determine relative values and decide which one is “better!”
3. Actively participate in part of the story by joining in with the actions of the characters
Have your child write and practice speaking their own petition for The Day of Petition (and for extra fun, let them decide who they want to petition, whether it’s Trudeau, the Queen, or Dad!). Ask them to write their own royal decree to the Dovetails, or simply play a game of “Would you rather…” based on some of the choices made by the characters in the story.
There are endless options to make this one fun!
Are you loving The Ickabog? Be sure to share how you’re using the story for a little extra learning at school or at home so that others can get some great ideas.
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