Reading Books for Academics and Pleasure

Reading Books for Academics and Pleasure

  • Critical reading English for academic purposes
  • Encouraging reading at home
  • Pleasure of reading books

Ensuring that your child reads for fun or reads for school or academics requires stamina and balance. Particularly, these experiences include different books, skills, and ideas. Reading academically and for pleasure has unique differences. For example, reading for pleasure is when one is intrinsically motivated to read a book and they are not solely focused on reading for learning. Academic reading is meant to advance one’s knowledge or studies.

What does reading for pleasure look like?

15-20 Minutes each day, depending on age group.
During times when there is center or guided reading work.
Right after or before lunch.
A set time at the end of the day before it is time to go home.
In the morning before breakfast or in the evening before bed.
Before you turn on the TV for late-night cartoons.
Driving in the car.

What does academic reading look like?

Critically reading to understand the purpose of the text, build connections of the text, and to show the skill that the teacher or curriculum desires. 

Ensuring the reader picks up vocabulary, syntax, and building of their comprehension. 

Ultimately, finding books that are engaging and motivating takes time. There are online book finders and of course your local librarian who can help you find the books that are just right for your child. 

Reading for Pleasure and Reading for Academics has stark differences. Ultimately if integrated on a daily basis, the reward can be great. Your child will be a reader and he or she will have the skills, stamina, and internal motivation to read.

Here at Pennez, we are looking to support you and your child in your online reading experiences. We have tutoring services, and a product called Read2Think. At Pennez we cater our tutoring services to ensure the books are inclusive and the lessons are on pace for your child. We also encourage parents to listen in on the first few times to exchange knowledge. 

Reading Pictures with Struggling Readers

Reading Pictures with Struggling Readers

Using images to build reading comprehension.


Images add more information to the vocabulary word because they refer to what the word actually is.

Teaching your child how to read is a marathon. You might be feeling overwhelmed at times or even at ease. Whatever the case, it is important to keep pushing and believing that your child will attain the skills to be a successful literate individual. Visuals brought an added feature to the conversation and uplifted stories when I was teaching. The use of imagery can be a critical asset when breaking down complex topics.

Ultimatly, we live in a visual world, and integrating visual literacy skills can assist your struggling reader to read. Think about all of the people who use visuals in their lives: Deaf or Hard of Hearing, painters, photographers, software developers, UI/UX professionals, and so many more. Images support these individuals everyday. So when you are transitioning from books with many images to a few, think about how you can continue utilizing images to make your reader blossom.

I am sharing information from this study ,Avgernou & Petterson (2011), Toward a Cohesive Theory of Visual Literacythey describe visually literacy as: Visual Perception, Visual Language, Visual Learning, Visual Thinking, and Visual Communication.


Images are produced from the artist’s perception. So a visual reader needs to learn how to describe, explain, and provide evidence for their thinking. The intent on teaching visual literacy is to use vocabulary, awareness about the image, and connections to the world around them.

Planning Theory into Practice

Start by being comfortable and using materials that interest your reader.

For example if your reader enjoys comic books then agree to read 1:1.

  • For every comic book, then the other book has to be an academic text. This way you can see how your child is applying their knowledge from their personal books.

With visual literacy it is key that your reader acquires this skill so that they can interpret visuals on other places. Visuals come from the artist’s perspective, their culture, and even intent. Remember to keep this in mind as well.

1. Visual Perception

Prior experiences and image context support visual perception.

  • Tell me what you think about____?
  • What does the caption on the text say to support this image?
  • What is the image (video or image) telling you?

2. Visual Language

Visual language is about explaining the meaning and having a clear understanding about what they see.

  • Explain what you understand about this image?
  • Detail the lines, colors, or graphics
  • How do the colors affect the images?

3. Visual Learning & Visual Communication connected

Visual Learning is where a reader is motivated to interact with images. They communicate with images.

  • How are the scenes and characters interacting?
  • How is the time period portraying????
  • How do the illustrations relate to the text?
  • What themes are being constructed as you read?
  • Can you show me???

4. Visual Thinking

Linked with visual thinking. Visual thinking includes more image specific vocabulary.

  • Do the images make you change your mind?
  • How are images framed?
  • What are the elements that make this image critical?
  • Vocabulary: foreground, background, contrasts, lighting, borders, size, scale?

You can find more in Reading the Visual: An Introduction to Teaching Multimodal Literacy (Language and Literacy Series)