Engaging our student readers

By January 22, 2014 No Comments

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” ― Harry S. Truman

I have said it before, but I will say it again, it is every teachers’ job to teach reading.  Once our students reach middle school, reading instruction looks different, but is still just as important as it was in elementary.  The secondary teachers teach their students how to read in their content areas.  That will look different in the chemistry classroom than it looks in the calculus class.  One problem is that adolescents tend to lose their interest in reading as they get older.  So then, the teacher’s job becomes more challenging.  Not only do they have to teach them how to read in their content area, but they also have to find ways to make it relevant and engaging to all of the students in the classroom.  Oh yeah, and help them find quality materials at their reading level.  Challenging…but not impossible.  Below are some suggestions on how to engage our readers to respond to what they have read.  Reading for enjoyment is important, but so is thinking about their reading.

  • Book trailers – These are just like movie trailers in that the students create a preview for the book they just read.  They can use iMovie or Animoto to record their trailers.  They have to have a firm grasp on what they read in order to summarize and share with an audience.
  • Retelling – Students can use apps like Sock Puppets and Coolibah to create multi-media retellings.
  • Create Comics – Using Comics Head students can create comics strips to summarize what they read.
  • Bring a character to life – This project would be great for fictional characters, as well as, historical (or modern day) figures.  Use Aurasma to create an augmented reality video to show character development.
  • Book talks – My daughter loves to tell me about what she is currently reading for pleasure.  She is especially passionate in her description when she is really enjoying the book.  She would tell anyone who would listen about the book and that they should read it.  Our students can easily produce videos of themselves giving book talks with iMovie.

These are just some basic ideas.  Feel free to share some of your own in the comments section.