Story-time during the elementary years is always a fun time for students. However, reading for pure enjoyment seems to be more of a challenge and chore for students when they enter the middle and high school years. As a reading teacher, part of my job is to help increase my students’ levels of reading proficiency. The other part of my job is to help increase my students’ motivation to read for enjoyment. Motivating students to want to read independently for enjoyment is a challenging task that requires skill and creativity.
Just like a good movie, a good book can be a great conversation starter. However, before you can discuss the movie, you need to see it first. The same philosophy applies with books. Before suggesting or recommending books to students for independent reading, teachers should read the books or at least familiarize themselves, so that they can provide students with a good overview of the content. Secondly, the manner in which you present a book to students can have a positive or negative impact on their motivation to want to read it. One strategy that I use to introduce books to my students is to create a brief advertisement of the book on poster board. Movie studios create eye-catching posters to generate interest in up-coming movies and the same interest can be generated to promote or advertise a book. The poster should include; facts from the book, opinions about the book, and graphics that represent important literary elements such as plot, setting or characters. So, the next time your students are resistant to reading, just say lights, camera, action – it’s time to read a good book!
Incarcerated Youth Program