Every teacher knows the value of reading. Not only is it an important life skill but a formative hobby. Students who enjoy reading discover new ideas, develop language skills, and fuel their imaginations. Furthermore, they will always have somewhere to escape to, whether they’re bored, upset by something, or simply looking for a change of pace.
Most readers can name a book that really made an impact on them, but some of your students may not yet have developed a love of books. If you’ve got kids who really dislike reading, check out these ways to show them just how much fun reading can be!
1. Understand why students dislike reading.
There are many reasons a student may not be fond of reading. Perhaps they haven’t found a genre that appeals to them. Maybe they don’t see it as an option for fun.
Often, it comes down to a simple lack of confidence. Reading can be a hard skill to learn, so it’s important to offer each student the support and encouragement they need to become confident and enthusiastic readers.
2. Uncover students’ preferences.
Sometimes a student’s lack of interest in reading lies in the idea that all books are boring. Find out what sorts of topics, time periods, and illustrations inspire them and what they’re passionate about. This will help you to select stories and reading materials that are more likely to engage each student.
3. Tell stories.
Everyone loves a good story, no matter how old or young they are. Set aside some time each week, or more often if you are able, to read to your class. Over time you will learn which books they enjoy the most, making this an excellent way to engage with your class.
On Mondays encourage students who have an interest to stand up in front of the class and share a story from their weekends. This will show reluctant readers that good stories come in many forms!
4. Make book mats.
Encourage your students to pick their favorite books, or even a story you told in class, and decorate placemats with illustrations of the best moment from the tale. Students can use these mats as a place to put their books when not reading to keep them safe and away from sticky or damaging surfaces.
5. Set challenges.
A little competition can be very encouraging for students, as can the promise of rewards. Set reading goals for your students. When they’re met, reward students with stickers or privileges, such as choosing the next class story. Not only will they be keen to reach the goals, some students may find a newfound excitement in reading.
It can take time, effort, and trial-and-error to convince some students that reading is worthwhile, but as time goes on and their confidence grows, they’ll find the activity far more enjoyable. By making reading a fun task, rather than a daunting chore, it will become a hobby they carry happily into the rest of their lives.
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