This guest post is sponsored by SNAP Learning.
With mobile devices and video games competing for students’ free time, getting your students excited about reading can be a daunting task for even the most determined teacher. Here are some ideas to inspire your students to get back to books:
1) Become a Book Character: Get your students to pick their favorite book characters and come to school dressed as them! This could even be a weekly activity as each child comes prepared to talk about why they like Horrid Henry, or the Very Hungry Caterpillar. (Check out some of these fabulous book character ideas which have been made into costumes.) Students can choose any character from an appropriate level book, with bonus points for quoting dialogue or describing the story in their own words.
2) Create Book Stack Bar Graphs: Turn your students’ book reading into year-long wall art! Cut a colored strip of paper to resemble a book spine and write the title of the book on it. Every time a student reads a new book, staple or thumbtack a new “book spine” above the student’s name. Over time, these “stacks” of books will grow vertically like a large-scale visual bar graph. Students will be able to see each other’s progress and can compete to grow their stacks; or, create stacks for different genres of books and have students compare the amounts read.
3) Go Digital: Would your students rather read on a tablet or iPad? Join a publisher program like SNAP Learning which provides hundreds of grade-appropriate books, both fiction and non-fiction, which you can assign to your students and send to their devices! These eBooks come with interactive exercises and assignments which you can later review and assess. Best of all, the content is Common Core-aligned.
4) Leverage a Hobby: Find out what your students’ favorite activities are and encourage them to read an appropriate book on the subject. There’s nothing like an existing passion to get kids thirsty for more information! Have students share their learning with the class.
5) The Bedtime Deal: You’ll need to get parents in on this one–ask them to offer children an extension on their bedtime (10, 15 or 20 minutes as appropriate) as long as the child spends it on reading.
6) Stay in Bed and Read Day: Choose a day to let kids wear their pajamas to school and bring in their sleeping bags. Arrange to have a special selection of books available (perhaps from your local library, or favorite books kids bring from home), and have parent volunteers supply milk and cookies.
7) Live in the Book: Most book lovers enjoy the way a book transports them to another world. What if you could change the appearance of your classroom to resemble a deserted island or an enchanted forest or the fantastic world of Harry Potter? Enlist students’ help in decorating your classroom to fit the setting of a book you’re reading together. Every day when you read a bit more, kids will find it easier to imagine they are in the book and on an adventure. Encourage students to add to the ambiance as they learn more details about the setting, character, and plot.
What fun activities have you used to get your students excited about reading? Please share your ideas in the comments!
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