Getting students excited about reading lessons can be tough. When resistance is high, it’s time to break out some teacher-tested ideas that are sure to make reading time more fun. Check out the ideas below and then get your students engaged in the wonderful world of books!
Reading Activities That Students Will Love
Idea by Patti, a 6th Grade teacher, from Lees Summit, MO.
In order to help build interest in reading a variety of books, I will have my class do a “Reading Round.” I hand each student a book from either my own classroom library, or a book selected from our school library. I’ll have them begin reading. After a few minutes, I’ll call out “switch”, and the students will move to the next desk and begin reading that book where the last student stopped. Ideally, we do this until everyone’s had a chance to read in every book. I’ve also done variations on this: boys read books that interest them, such as sports; girls read books that interest them. I’ve also used it to give additional reading in other topics. It’s not unusual for a student to come up and tell me “I’d like to finish that book!” Sometimes they’re surprised that they actually like a book they wouldn’t have picked out on their own.
Being the Teacher
Idea by Ann, a 2nd Grade Teacher, in Hatboro, PA.
My students love this activity, as it gives them a chance at “being the teacher”. After reading a story, ask the children to write down three questions, beginning with “how,” “why,” and “what if”. Explain that these questions will not be handed in, but that story understanding is the goal of this activity. After giving them time to write down the questions and answers, ask who wants to be the teacher. Set rules about respect for all children asking the questions or answering them. The students love the opportunity to stand in front of the class and “be the teacher.” It encourages them to extend their thinking about the story and the characters.
Fishing for Books
Idea by Karen, a 2nd Grade Teacher, in Athens, VA.
My students love this reading incentive!
- Students fill out a fish form for every book they read. They include title and author.
- Parents sign the fish as well.
- At school they place their fish in a fish bowl.
- Every Friday, I draw 3 winning fish. The students have to give a brief book talk about their book and then they win a prize.
It gets them excited about reading and reinforces the concept of probability in math. They learn quickly that the more fish they have in the bowl, they better chance they have of winning. It is a big hit with my class.
What are some of your favorite reading activities? Share them with us below or on the Really Good Teachers Forums!