Teach The Rightbrained Child To Read

Just as people have a dominant hand, they also have a dominant brain side. While left-brained students are traditionally highly structured and analytical, their right-brained counterparts are creative, imaginative and spontaneous. While right-brained students can learn reading in the traditional drill and repetition fashion, they learn the skill more effectively if taught in a different, more visual format.


1. Pair letters and words with pictures. These creative individuals often learn best through the use of visuals. As you teach the child letters, ask her to create pictures of words that begin with each one. Repeat this process once the child moves on to learning words.

2. Use color to aid in understanding. When teaching long and short vowels, add color to the mix. For example, if you are teaching the child long and short A’s, present him with a list of words containing A’s, and ask him to highlight the words in which the A is long with pink, and the words in which the A is short in blue.

3. Engage the student in read-alongs. Right-brain students work best in groups. To feed their need for group activity while practicing reading, have read-alongs in which you read a book to the class and the students read along with you.

4. Teach the child with informational texts. Instead of focusing on fiction, try factual texts. Right-brained students commonly enjoy learning about the world around them, and can connect more closely to texts about things that they have personal experience with.

5. Help the child create a movie of the text in her mind. Good readers picture what they read in their head. To help the student develop this skill, ask her to close her eyes and picture what you are reading while you read to her aloud. Stop periodically and ask the student to explain what she is seeing in her head.

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6. Discuss the reading material with the child. Don’t read the text and then abandon it. Take time to work with the child, discussing the text and his thoughts and feelings about it. By doing this, you encourage the child to interact with the text and give it his full attention.

7. Use project-based assessments instead of standard papers. Right-brained students commonly struggle with paper composition, and find the task boring and meaningless. While some paper writing is certainly necessary, you can allow the student to demonstrate her understanding in other ways as well. Allow the student to create artistic projects instead of writing to show that she comprehends what she read.

8. Play music during silent reading time. Select classical music, and play it quietly. This background noise may help the right-brained student calm his mind and focus on the reading task at hand.

9. Use graphic organizers heavily. By using graphic organizers, you assist the student in breaking down the text. Provide the student with a wide array of graphic organizers, and assist her in completing them as she continues to improve her reading skill.