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3 Creative Ways to Get Students Excited About Books and Reading

reading teaching Feb 13, 2019

If you struggle to get some of your students interested in books, here’s a few fun strategies. They work beautifully with both picture books and chapter books.

Book Tastings

Book tasting have become a mini-fad in schools around the country. It’s a brilliant idea! Decorate your classroom like a restaurant, create place settings and a menu of books (with a short synopsis), have a set of books for each table and let students “try out” several books.

It’s fun, creative and very effective. Student LOVE doing this. It makes reading not only fun but desirable. I’d call that a win.

Blind Dating Books or “Mystery” Books

This is another way to get your students to try something new in their reading. I especially love this when a bunch of new books are coming into the classroom library or school library. Books are wrapped up in wrapped up in plain, brown paper. You can get some at Michaels or use butcher paper, if you have it.

Now you have choice, you can write the genre and or age range on the paper (good for a school library) or you can leave them completely blank. Put them in a labelled basket or bin. Students can choose one blind date (or “mystery”) book.

This is a great way to expand student horizons.

My mom used to tell us to take one book randomly from the shelves at the library (without looking) right before we went to check out our books. My siblings and I found some real winners (and a few real losers) we never would have chosen. It was just as much fun to talk at dinnertime about the losers as it was the winners.

Fishbowl: Parent Book Club

This one I learned about parent book clubs from one of my kids teachers. I have tweaked it for my own purposes as a way to introduce books to students. Here’s how it works.

Several books are chosen by the teacher as parent book club books. The teacher sends home a note asking for parents tp participate in a fishbowl book club. Parents who volunteer read the book at home and then come in on a designated day and time for the book they read to be in the fishbowl and discuss the book. There are several different books and, therefore, days this will happen. You could do one a month.

On the Book Club day, seating is arranged for parents at a table. the table is decorated with a table cloth, snacks and mini water bottles. The rest of the chairs in the classroom are arranged around this table in a semi-circle so all students can see the parents.

Parents come in and discuss the book as if the class doesn’t exist. A list of possible questions/things to think about is provided if they get stuck. Students “listen in” as parents debate and discuss the book. At the end, students get to ask questions and take a look at the book.

This activity accomplishes FOUR things. Students:

  • see adults talk about and enjoy a book.

  • hear what kinds of things are discussed in a book club.

  • see and feel what a book club looks like and how it functions.

  • learn about a new book to see if they are interested in reading it.

Give one of these a try. I’d love to hear any other fun strategies you have for getting student excited about books and reading. Post your thoughts in the comment below.

Lisa

P.S. Do your students have trouble knowing when to abandon a book? Here’s a FREE guide to help students know when it’s appropriate to abandon a book.

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