How to get them reading
11 Feb 2016
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies; the man who does not read lives only one”…
…but in an age where young people today are surrounded by a range of leisure activities, it can be a struggle to encourage reading for pleasure.
So, how can you unlock the pleasure of reading in school, particularly amongst your most disengaged readers?
1) Provide books that interest them. For boys, this might include car manuals, or books about football, but it may also include novels that hook young people into reading, and resonate with who they are. The teenage novels published these days are a fantastic development in literature, exploring the teenage identity whilst also capturing their imaginations. Gibb and Guthrie (2008) call this the ‘potency of relevance’ and emphasise the need for teens to be able to make real-world connections with what they read.
2) Provide choice. If possible, involve students in the collection development of the school library, and value their opinions. After all, they will be reading the texts you provide.
3) Discussion, group activities and response. Students need the opportunity to respond to texts, and this could be through blog posts, competitions, or book raps. Book discussion groups can also be powerful, as peers play a crucial role in developing attitudes towards reading. Set up book discussion groups – these can be informal, maybe a lunch-time session, and make reading cool.
With World Book Day taking place on March 2nd, this is a great opportunity to try any of the above and celebrate reading in your school. You can also sign up to Children’s Authors Live, for interactive webcasts with popular authors.
If you are doing something to promote reading at your school, we would love to hear about it at Schoolzone. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to share how you are unlocking the pleasure of reading with your students.