Encouraging Students to Read

In this day and age with TV and the Internet, students are reading less and less. It’s not surprising to learn that about the only books that students read are those assigned to them by their teachers.

Here are some ideas for getting your students to read things other than assigned readings.

  • Have students read and write a report about a book they choose from a list of books you provide.
  • Share your own passion for reading by telling students about some of the books you’ve read and enjoyed.
  • Place some books around the classroom that your students can pick up and read during free time.
  • Emphasize to your students that there are many things they can read besides books such as newspapers and magazines.
  • Provide a period of ‘Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading.’ During this period, you as well as all of your students do nothing else than read something of interest. About 20 minutes is an appropriate length of time for this activity.
  • Arrange a school field trip to a public library. In addition to having the librarians teach your students how to make use of the library’s resources, ask the librarians to emphasize the wide variety of reading materials and activities available there. If your students do not already have a library card, this is a perfect time for them to get one.
  • If you give end-of-year prizes, use books as prizes. Students will then associate books with their achievement and progress.
  • If you’re working with younger students, don’t underestimate the power and effect of reading aloud. This is a great way to encourage interest in reading.