8th Grade Reading Help and Practice Materials

Reading is a subject that many students are uncomfortable or struggle with, but it's a vital skill for advancing to high school and even on to college. To help your son or daughter overcome any difficulties, use the ideas below for at-home practice.

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How Can I Motivate My Child to Read?

One of the best ways for students to improve their reading is to do it frequently, and if your child isn't motivated by books, try providing other materials. Sit down with your son or daughter to determine interests before suggesting other options. If your child is interested in history, recommend a non-fiction piece over a fictional narrative. Similarly, if your child enjoys music, compile a list of song lyrics for him or her to read in place of poetry. Short stories, newspaper articles and magazines are also great for extra reading at home.

Practice Exercises for 8th Grade Readers

Weekly Quizzes

Standardized reading assessments typically include multiple-choice, short answer and essay questions. Help your 8th grader prepare by creating weekly quizzes for at-home reading. While extra homework may not be appealing to your child, it will help him or her improve, so providing short exams is beneficial.

Reading Journal

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, and this exercise combines the two activities to give your child the necessary practice. Once a week, ask your child to write a 300-word response to something he or she has read recently, whether it's a news article, recap of a sporting event, musician profile or a full book. Make it official by buying or making a journal specifically for this purpose.

Argument Evaluations

In 8th grade, students should be able to evaluate and analyze persuasive arguments for reasoning and supporting details. To test this skill, select advertisements from magazines your child might find interesting. For example, if your son likes hockey, choose an ad from Sports Illustrated, or if your daughter is interested in nutrition, select an ad from Women's Health.

Once you've chosen a single-page ad, ask your child to look at it and write a few pages about the overall message, the type of argument, what the advertisers hoped to accomplish and whether or not they did. The response should reference specific parts of the ad and describe how it could be improved.

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