No Books, Reading Challenge. For struggling, reluctant or beginning readers.

no books reading challenge


Information on the No Books, Reading Challenge.

For parents and teachers.

Reading is a hard task. There are 26 letters in the alphabet, representing over 40 sounds with more than 200 spelling variations.


Some children lose confidence in their reading ability and become reluctant readers. They see books and immediately sense their failure in reading, especially children struggling to learn to read.


The aim of the No Books, Reading Challenge is to re-engage children in reading. Help them build their confidence in reading and to see the need to read.

For beginning readers it is about letting them see the variety of places we use our reading skills.


By providing children with a list of reading challenges, most of which use pictorial clues or are well-known to children, it gives children a chance to read without fear of failure.


Remember the tasks are not about reading ability, they are about regaining confidence and re-engaging children in learning to read.


To help children successfully complete this challenge here are a few tips:

Map – make or use a map of a familiar route. Ask your child to give you the directions to home or the classroom using the map.

Recipe – many children’s recipe books have step by step instructions with images. Choose a simple recipe with known ingredients such as pizza or muffins.

Road Signs – read the signs to your child before setting this task. Give your child a chance to learn the signs before asking them to read them.

Experiments – science experiments are similar to recipes with many providing step by step instructions with picture clues. Choose a simple experiment children can follow by looking at the pictures.

TV – While your child is watching TV click on the information link and ask your child to read you the title of the cartoon they are watching.

Supermarket– give children a shopping list with images and text and ask them to read the items on the list. Food pamphlets could also be used.

Menu – make a menu or use a familiar menu and ask children the item they would like to eat. If you are making a menu, you could create a menu for pizza toppings or sandwich fillings.

Mail – Ask your child to read the name on the envelopes or junk mail pamphlets. You may like to ask a relative or friend to send a simple letter to your child.

Logo – use items which have logos, these could be sports teams or food items. Ask your child to read the logo.

Instructions – Lego books or similar building kits which use pictures with instructions. Board Game instructions could also be used, if your child knows a game well enough.

Shop signs – ask your child to read shop signs as you pass them.

Free choice – other places children could read are letters, postcards, emails, text messages, notes, signs in parks or street signs. This will be dependent on the area you live and your child’s own familiarity.


Remember to praise your child every time they read whether they are using pictorial clues, memorising or using letter-sound knowledge. Comments like, ‘great reading’ as they say a shop sign, gives children the confidence to have-a-go at reading in future.


A free copy of the No Book, Reading Challenge can be downloaded here.

No Books, Reading Challenge 1


Reading books at home should be fun. It should be a chance to practise fluency, comprehension and to share stories with other family members.


If a child or student has become a reluctant reader, put books away for one week and show them the places they can use their reading skills.


Discuss your concerns about your child’s reluctance to read books with their teacher. They may like to include this No Books, Reading Challenge as part of the home readers program for one week.


For more activities and information on children’s ‘stages not ages’ of reading development visit AbcJenny on Facebook or via website,


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