Children’s ‘Rights Of A Child Reader’ Guide.

As part of this blog post, my class and I decided to put together a guide to reading for pleasure. The children came up with roughly 30 rights. I’ve decided to categorise them as I think it makes for more interesting interpretation. Take a look and see what you think. You can also read our ‘Year 5 Rights Of A Child Writerhere.

*Please note these are the views of the children and may not represent the views of our employer.*

The Year 5 ‘Rights Of A Child Reader’ Guide.

The role of the teacher:

  1. The right to a teacher who reads.
  2. The right to read to a teacher.
  3. The right to have a class-book read to you.

The classroom environment:

  1. The right to start your day reading.
  2. The right to a class library.

Type of books:

  1. The right to only read books you enjoy.
  2. The right to read non-fiction, poetry, pictures books, magazines, comics and newspapers.
  3. The right not to use colour-coded books (if you don’t want to).
  4. The right to choose your own level of reading (if you want to).
  5. The right to take a book home to read.
  6. The right to bring your own books in to school.

Types of reading:

  1. The right to take a break from a large book.
  2. The right to read out loud.
  3. The right to mistake a book for your life and get lost in it.
  4. The right to take your time reading.
  5. The right to read a book again.
  6. The right to act out the books you’re reading.
  7. The right to have MEGA DEAR*.
  8. The right to read at home.

Reviewing & talking about books:

  1. The right to book talks.
  2. The right to blog book reviews.
  3. The right to recommend books.
  4. The right to lend your books to the class library.
  5. The right to drop a book.
  6. The right to read and discuss Shakespeare.
  7. The right to rate a book no matter what other people think.

The reader in the writer:

  1. The right to read your class mates’ published writing and talk about it together.
  2. The right to magpie books for your own writing.

*MEGA DEAR is where children are afforded an opportunity to take reading books, play-scripts, poetry and their own writing into a larger space. Here they are allowed to perform poetry for each other, act out stories, myths or fairy-tales, have book talks, draw characters and settings, make comic strips and read and/or write together. 


The 29 Rights Of The Child Writer.

Daniel Pennac, in his book The Rights Of The Reader, created 10 rights for child readers and these can be viewed as a poster here.

In 2011, The National Writing project produced its own ten rights for writers which includes the following:

  1. The right not to share.
  2. The right to change things and cross things out.
  3. The right to write anywhere.
  4. The right to a trusted audience.
  5. The right to get lost in your writing and not know where you’re going.
  6. The right to throw things away.
  7. The right to take time to think.
  8. The right to borrow from other writers.
  9. The right to experiment and break rules.
  10. The right to work electronically, draw or use a pen and paper.

Jeni Smith helped write these rights and you can listen to her talk in the video below:

In my classroom, the children have changed a few of these and we’ve added a few of our own.

The 29 Rights Od The Child Writer

The role of the teacher:

  • The right to have a writer-teacher.
  • The right to be shown the ‘writing tricks‘ other authors use.
  • The right to a pupil-conference where you receive genuine writing advice from a writer-teacher; not a teacher-writer.

Home writing:

  • The right to a home/school writing journal.
  • The right to write anywhere.
  • The right to take writing to and from home.

Reader in the writer:

  • The right to magpie and borrow ideas from other writers.

What to write:

How to write:

  • The right to ‘box up’ and get your ideas together.
  • The right to move around the writing process – to write your own way.
  • The right to make mistakes, cross things out and change your mind.
  • The right to abandon free-writing pieces.
  • The right to take time to think, to be unsure and to write freely.
  • The right to get lost in our writing and not know where you’re going.
  • The right to experiment and take risks.

Sharing writing:

  • The right to be shy.
  • The right to give and receive ‘author talks’ from your peers.
  • The right to a supportive audience.

Getting your work ‘reader ready’:

My question now is – what would the rights be in your class? What have I missed? Do any of these seem unrealistic? Could you do the same activity with your class? Can we share what our classes come up with and try and create a @WritingRocks_17 list of writer’s rights together?

You can leave your rights as a comment below!

**Please note that the views expressed on this blog are our own and may not represent our employer.**