By Teachers, For Teachers
As teachers, we are always looking for ways to learn how to motivate students to love reading. We all know the rewards of reading are immense; aside from enhancing our communication skills, it also helps reduce stress. Nevertheless, many children still cringe at the thought of reading. How can we change that?
1. Let students see you read. If you are going to encourage your students to read, then you better make sure you’re leading by example. Instead of grading papers when students are silent reading, read a book. Talk about the book that you are reading with them, and how you can’t wait to read before you go to bed.
2. Allow students to read the whole book before discussing it. Give students the opportunity to read the book before you pull it apart and talk about literary devices. Sometimes when all you do is talk about the plot, setting, or genre, you are taking all the fun and pleasure out of the story. Give students the chance to read it once through, then you can go chapter by chapter and dissect.
3. Invite a local author to class. A great way to promote a love of a reading is to invite an author to your classroom to discuss their book. This may be just the thing to inspire your students to read or even be an author themselves someday.
4. Teach students reading strategies. Many students don’t like to read because it’s hard for them. Teach children reading strategies (i.e. repeated reading) to help them feel confident and read fluently.
5. Set up a book club. Book clubs and reading groups are a great way for students to socialize and share their thoughts. This interaction makes reading so much more enjoyable, and it enhances their comprehension skills.
6. Let students choose their own books. Studies have shown that when students choose their own books it will boost their reading ability. Make sure you have an abundance of different genres and themes in your classroom library from which students may choose.
7. Use technology to create an e-book. Children love technology, and there is nothing is better than using these tools to get students to love reading. Download an app like Book Creator or ebook Magic and have students create their own works. Kids will love sharing their books with their peers and they can even submit their stories to iBooks.
8. Introduce students to a book series. Whether students are into adventures or fantasy novels, there is a book series for everyone. All you have to do is find out what your students love and get them to read the first selection. Once they get a taste of the set, they will definitely want to keep reading to find out what happens next.
9. Allow students to dislike books. Think of it like Facebook—students can give a “thumbs up” if they like it, or a “thumbs down” if they don’t. This will also help you choose future class novels as well.
10. Helps students see the importance of reading. Sometimes just knowing the facts can encourage someone to see their world differently. For example, knowing that maintaining a healthy lifestyle may help us live a longer life can motivate us to make better life choices. Laying out the benefits of reading may be the best way to enhance appreciation and encourage them to pick up a book on their own.
Helpful Links: Reading for Pleasure, Boosting Ability
Teachers, how do you encourage a love of reading in your students? Share with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.