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Who has not dictated to their children or their students at some time? Or rather, who does not use this practical tool regularly so that they learn to write well? However, find and prepare good dictations for children of different ages it is almost an art that requires attention and care. What guidelines should be followed to prepare the perfect dictation for the little ones?
As we all know, dictations have many advantages for the little ones: they help them write well and without spelling mistakes, they know the correct use of grammar rules and it is an ideal exercise to work memory, concentration and reading comprehension. . For children to be able to make the most of all these advantages of dictations, they must be developed in the appropriate way. Not all texts are valid, the key is to choose them according to the needs of the students. Here are some simple rules that will be very useful to you.
- The text must be according to the age of the child
If, for example, the dictations are for students in the fifth year of primary school, these exercises must be prepared for this level, that is, they must reinforce the grammar rules that they are working on in class. In turn, it should be a not very long and attractive dictation so that it catches their attention and is not distracted.
- In verse and also in prose
The ideal is to alternate a dictation in verse one day and the next in prose, in this way they can learn both styles and at the same time find it entertaining and very enjoyable.
- Pronounce clearly and emphasize the most difficult words
Read to your child or student the text of the dictation that you have prepared twice, the first time slowly and emphasizing the difficult words and the second time to review once the child has already written it. You will see how well it turns out!
- One dictation per day will be enough
Think of it as a reinforcement activity, so doing one dictation a day will be more than enough. If the child is close to the end of the second cycle of primary school, he can do two dictations a day of a short length.
- Correct the dictation with your student in front
The step that remains now is to correct the dictation in front of the child to explain what he has not fully understood. Do not forget to encourage them to ask all they want, you know that they are often embarrassed. Take the opportunity to also ask yourself if he has understood the text he has written, reading comprehension is one of the things that is most difficult for them and you must work little by little.
Once we have clear the previous rules, we can only see how we can create dictations for children, what texts to put and what things to base ourselves on, let's see a few examples of dictation styles to clear up doubts.
1. Dictations on the child's daily life
A great way to get your child's attention is to dictate things that they have done in their day-to-day life. Here are a couple of examples that I have prepared myself for my 6-year-old son Adrián.
'Today is Sunday and there is no school so I am going to spend the day in the mountains with my parents and my sister, I am going to eat in the fields and see horses. How exciting!'
'Every Wednesday after school I have an English class. My teacher is called Ana and she is very good. I have a great time and learn new things. '
2. Exercises based on things that students like
Another way to prepare these very practical exercises is to do it with texts that the students like. Again, some exercises that I did for my son according to his tastes now.
'Dinosaurs were large animals that lived many, many years ago on earth. They disappeared when a huge meteorite fell to earth. '
'I like to play leopard, I run through the jungle at full speed and when I see a small animal, I rush to hunt it. Do you want to play too? '
3. Prepare fun dictations with fragments of fables
Perfect to let children's imaginations fly and to improve their reading comprehension. There are longer and shorter fables, to choose from according to the age of the student. Remember to comment on the moral of the fable at the end of the dictation.
Fable of 'The Lion and the Mouse'
After a long day of hunting, a lion lay to rest under a tree. When he was falling asleep, some mice dared to come out of their burrow and began to play around him. Suddenly, the most mischievous had the idea of hiding in the lion's mane, with such bad luck that he woke him up. Very grumpy to see his nap interrupted, the lion caught the mouse in his claws and said with a roar:
"How dare you disturb my sleep, you little mouse?" I'm going to eat you so you can learn your lesson!
The mouse, which was so frightened that it could not move, said trembling:
- Please don't kill me, lion. I didn't want to bother you. If you leave me I will be eternally grateful. Let me go, because one day you may need me.
Fable of 'The wolves and the dogs'
The wolves called the dogs and said:
- Hey, being you and us so similar, why don't we understand each other as brothers, instead of fighting? The only thing we have different is how we live. We are free; instead you are submissive and subject to men in everything. They endure their blows, bear the collars and guard their flocks. When your masters eat, they leave you only the bones.
4. Dictation exercises according to the grammar rules they are studying
Prepare the dictations for your child according to the grammar rules that he is working on in that term in school. For example:
'I live on a farm with a donkey who likes bean sprouts instead of carrots.'
'Valentín and Valeria are brothers and they play sailing on a pirate ship. How exiting!'
'I play in the park. Juan screams because he has gotten angry and the cat that sees everything hides in his den. '
'I like the striped sweater a lot but I'd better wear the other one that's warmer.'
'Now you know all the secrets to prepare the best dictations for your children.'
Ready to practice dictations with your kids?
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