Inspiring Students to Read
“Would we rather have a child that reads every single fantasy book they can come across, or a child that begrudgingly only reads a few books a year from other genres?” (Ripp, 2015)
The article “At Any Given Moment, We Have the Power to Stop the Hatred of Reading” by middle school educator Pernille Ripp provides thought-provoking advice for developing a love of reading. As you read the article, think about the concept of “choice.” How would a literature program that gives students control over their book selections impact their attitudes toward reading? How would you answer Ripp’s question?
With so many distractions available to students today, helping them develop a love of literature can be facilitated through various strategies. Classrooms where reading is both loved and nurtured share many of the following characteristics and practices:
Students have the opportunity not just to learn about reading, but to actually read every single day.
Teachers make it a practice of sharing what they are reading with each other and with their students, in very visual and verbal ways.
Students understand and see that their teachers love to read.
Students are given plenty of opportunities to make choices in what they want to read.
Students can not only keep records of what they have read during the school year, but maintain a list of books they want to read next, furthering the idea that they always have a plan for reading. (For ideas on using iPads for journaling, see Digital Reader’s Notebooks.)
To explore this topic further, listen to the BAM! radio interview with educator and author Donalyn Miller, “What are the Habits of Lifelong Readers, How Do We Instill Them?” (To listen, click “Play Episode.”) Then, learn about a school that implemented a campus-wide reading initiative to promote literacy in the radio interview: “An Audacious Strategy to Promote the Joy of Reading.”