When I work with students, we always have the discussion based on, "Why do we read? Who invented written words anyway?"
Everyone remembers playing the child’s game of TELEPHONE – where a group of individuals line up and the first person whispers a message to the next person and the message is subsequently passed down the line. At the end, the last person repeats the message that was shared. Very seldom is the final message the same as the original. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE WRITTEN LANGUAGE.
Human thought is so unique that we want to preserve it...want to share it with others unadulterated and retain originality. The only way to do so is to write it down. Symbols were created to represent the sounds that we speak. Letters are combined to make even more sounds. These combinations when placed on paper represent the REAL THINGS....IDEAS.... THOUGHTS...and EMOTIONS of another individual. It is our responsibility to learn to decipher this code and retain the meaning behind the words."
This explanation helps my students to get excited about the activity of reading that has been elusive to them. After internalizing the tools for FOCUS and correcting misperceptions in the formation and sequence of the alphabet, they are empowered to use these symbols to represent the meaning g behind the written word.