Sunday, August 11, 2013

Peaking students' interests about books

Getting students excited about reading and interested in new books can often be a daunting task.

Here are some ideas for peaking students' interests

Idea One: book blurbs

Using speech bubbles like these, you can add a dash of whimsy to your classroom.  I did with our science readers:

This library did:

Students are curious about the book blurbs adn want to see if they agree, thus encouraging reading.

Idea Two: blind dates with books

The idea is simple: cover the front and back of the book and challenge students to get through the first twenty pages or three chapters, whichever comes first.  (This of course can be modified for students; ability levels).  It allows students to preview books without being influenced by the cover.

Idea Three: peer recommendations

I have students write reviews and who they would recommend the books to and why.  Here's a bulletin board adaptation:

Idea Four: bulletin boards and displays

While I'm not the biggest March madness fan, I like how this brings in sports:

Students could read the books and write persuasive letters on why one is a better read, thus incorporating writing.

While this image isn't mine, I've done a very similar board.  Mine said "from here to whoville, reading takes us around the world" and was Dr. Seuss themed.

Students would pin where the settings of their books are and write blurbs on how the setting impacts the story, again bringing in writing.

Idea Five: book tastings

Students will sample different books and write their ideas about what they want to read during the upcoming year.

I do this with my class, minus the table cloths.  I read the back descriptions of the books I'll be using in small groups.  Since many of my groups are around the same DRA level, I make my groups with their input.  I distribute tickets and after I've read the descriptions, they go around and drop the tickets into the book buckets for the novels they want to read.  We have a lot of conversations about flexibility (we all can't read Hunger Games first) and it works out pretty well. 

Good luck! Happy reading :)

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