Thursday, October 7, 2010

Teaching Oliver to Read: A Little Humor

Meet Oliver, The Reading Dog

I have been promising you readers a humorous post.  So, here it is.  Some of you may know the story of Oliver, the dog belonging to my friends Gina and David.  Some of you may know that for one weekend a few years ago I became interested in teaching Oliver to read.

It began with a handful of dog treats and two post -it notes, one with Oliver's name on it, and one with the name of Oliver's best friend on it.  We placed the two post-its on the coffee table with treats (now carrots) on top of his own post-it and first taught Oliver to "read his name."  He began to tap the post-it with his paw or nudge the post-it with his nose.  We then worked hard to teach Oliver to "read the post-it" with only his name.  

After a good night's sleep, Oliver woke the next morning and greeted his dad on the couch.  David spread the newspaper out on the coffee table and Oliver wagged his tail wildly.  He began tapping the paper and sniffing it.  David, not a teacher, but around enough teachers to know what to say, pet Oliver on the head and said, "Buddy, I know you want to read again but I think the newspaper is too hard for you.  It is at a high reading level buddy.  I'll read it to you."  Nevertheless, we knew Oliver loved reading.  

Gina, David, Oliver, and I continued our fun that weekend, practicing the trick for a few minutes throughout the two days.  He continues to love read alouds by Gina and walks around his newly remodeled home telling visitors of the stories of each project (in howls, of course).   Now, when I return to the midwest, I always stop home to visit my furry reader and writer.  

Here is a recent portrait of Oliver.  He posed for this after telling me the story of his mom and dad's wedding this April.  He thought it was beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Our dog LOVES read aloud time. He curls up right on top of us. Since Baby L loves books with dogs, he gets to hear us saying, "Woof woof!" and "Doggy!" constantly. He perks up his ears and wags his tail every time he hears a doggy-related word (including "walk" "food" "eat" "toy"... etc..etc..)