Understanding the value of reading and how it can drastically change a student’s writing skills, speech articulation, and worldly knowledge, we compiled the following list of ways to help overcome your students’ reluctance to reading.
1.Reading Breaks –
Perhaps thanks to bland textbooks with no personality, students often associate reading with boredom and punishment (or maybe it’s just that books fail to win the attention wars with their flashy video game counterparts). That’s why it’s so important to turn reading into a fun activity. Set aside time during class to give students some reading time as a break from the current lesson. If you allow them to choose any book they’d like, they’ll feel like reading is a source of fun, relaxation, and personal freedom.
2. Read Aloud With Your Students –
Reading aloud to your class is a great way to give students a peek into the treasures that await within books. Stories are powerful and as Seth Godin says, great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of large or important audiences. Just the act of introducing them to the story can pique their interest enough to make them want to read. Reading aloud to students also has the added benefit of showing them the relationship between print and speech, to improve student vocabulary, and to introduce them to different styles of writing.
3. Use Positive Reinforcement –
Positive reinforcement is a great way of encouraging your students to read. This can be expressed verbally in the form of compliments or physically in the form of gold stars or prizes. If you are a brave parent, you can even substitute certain chores as a reward for reading. This takes some finessing though, but if done correctly, students will associate reading with pleasure.
4. Organize a School Book Fair –
Book fairs are fun events that schools host in order to bring the bookstore to students. They are an awesome way to get students excited about reading by giving students the chance to shop for their own books in a store that is tailored to them. The most popular book fairs come from Scholastic, which has hand-selected book selections that include classic children’s stories and contemporary genres. If your school does not have one, help organize one! Encourage parents to take their students. As a student, I always loved attending book fairs because they were full of books that were made for me. Parents can further help the cause by giving their students with a book allowance.
5. Play a Pre-Read Guessing Game –
Before reading a single word, teachers can ask students questions about the book cover as well as any illustrations and photography provided, and have students guess what they think happens in the book. Encourage students to be imaginative — the more “far out” the better. This incites enthusiasm and curiosity about the story, and gets students thinking critically. In general, observing graphics and photography as clues is useful in order to enhance student understanding of the reading topic. Use this correctly and students will beg you to read the book to find out what happens.
6. Reading Race –
This is a fun game in which teachers divide the class into teams of 3 or 4. Challenge each student to read as many books as possible by the end of the term. Students should submit a proof of reading, such as a short book report or a signed slip from their parent. By the end of the term, the group with the most books read wins the prize. (More books, maybe?)
7. Read How-To Books –
The best way to get students to read is to encourage them to read what they are already interested in. Like Dale Carnegie says, “Bait the hook to suit the fish.” One fantastic option is reading how-to books on a subject they want to know more about. Kids often want to help with cooking, learning magic tricks, or getting upper hand on video games. In addition to teaching through intrinsic motivation, this technique also helps students become better self-learners, and even entrepreneurial in their approach to life. Have an interest or goal? Great! Go find a book and learn about it!
8. Write a Book Together –
Having played basketball most of my life, I understand how difficult it is to do what most professional athletes do in the NBA, and thus have an elevated level of respect for them. In this same way, writing a book will help students understand the work that goes into creating stories and can enhance their level of appreciation for books. Students can express their creativity, learn new vocabulary, and design everything from the book cover, flaps, to the size.
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Author Neil Gaiman once said that “A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.” While he was likely talking about the remarkable and awesome way in which books put you in a different world while reading, there is a second interpretation. Reading is a way to reach goals and achieve transcendence. Reading is not only an important skill for students’ personal and professional success, but it is also a significant and impactful activity that elevates a whole society. Use these fun and creative tips to convince your students to read and change their lives.