Reading is one of the most important things young children can learn to love. Good reading and comprehension skills start early, so it’s important to lay the foundations and get children interested in reading from an early age
I am going to present 4 tips that we can do to foster a love of reading for our children.
One thing that we can do is to give options.
Not all kids are going to like the same books. While you may have some that are a necessary part of the curriculum, you should try to introduce your class to a wide variety of books. There is a book out there for every child. You just have to help them find it. Once kids discover a book they love, they’re often excited to find even more.
Make It Come to Life
For many students, reading can seem dull, especially when books are difficult or take them a long time to read. Try to find ways to make a story come to life. Have students draw pictures of what’s happening in the story, or make a play about it. Even simply reading aloud in class with different voices for the characters can make it more fun.
When kids are just starting to read, you may want to offer rewards or incentives to get them to read as much as possible. Stickers and small prizes can be enough of a motivator to get kids to open a few books. Chart their progress and the number of books they’ve read to encourage them to read just for the sake of reading.
Send Reading Home
Students should be reading at home as well as at school. The more practice they get each day the better. You can even send slightly more advanced books home with students to read alongside their parents.
For young children, even hearing adults read more advanced material can help improve their vocabulary and comprehension skills.
If you want to learn more about this Getting Children Interested in Reading: Go to http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/authors/
There’s a professional paper on “Raising Students Who Want to Read” by Phyllis s. Hunter.
I want to share a segment of what she says on the topic. And I am quoting here: She writes:
What Teachers Can Do Practically speaking, the obvious question is “How do we do that?” How can teachers help their students develop the motivation to become skilled readers who love to read?
Over the years, a lot of research has been conducted in real classrooms with real kids to try to answer these questions (e.g., Gambrell & Marinak, 1997; Guthrie & Wigfield, 2000; Smith & Wilhelm, 2002; Snow, 2002; Turner, 1997).
When you put all of this research together, it points to several concrete things that teachers can do:
- Match students to “just right” texts on their reading level that they can read without difficulty.
- Provide a wide variety of texts that are interesting and appropriate for students’ age ranges and personally relevant to individual students.
- Empower students by allowing them to select their own texts.
- Let students know what to expect. They can get excited about what’s coming.
- Encourage students to take an interest in monitoring their own reading progress.
- Talk, talk, talk about books—discuss the characters, settings, and plots of stories and the content of nonfiction books.
- Support students with immediate, continuous feedback and encouragement.
- Use technology to excite students’ interest.
- Set expectations for success.
What are some other ways you’ve gotten your students interested in reading? Leave your ideas in the comment section below. Shoot me an email and let me know.