March is Reading Month! We love celebrating this month and the importance of reading at all ages! Reading is such a vital tool in learning and can connect students with real-life experiences, understanding history, or even a brief literature-escape. Even more so, research has shown reading at any age helps improve brain connectivity and enhanced vocabulary. However, we understand not every child has found their passion for reading. See below for some tips and tricks on creative ways to encourage your students to grow in their love of reading!
Too often, students see reading as a chore they are required to do for school. Because of this, they most likely have never taken the time to look outside of their required text to find the vast world of genres and themes that might interest them! Talk with your students about their interests, hobbies and curiosities and help them find books that align with these things.
Sometimes the best way to fall in love with reading is to draw similarities to yourself. Although not all books are set in this world or modern times, there are always ways to connect with it. Ask your students which characters they relate to the most or which characters they think they would easily befriend. If students can find a personal link to the reading material, they will be more interested in seeing stories through to the end.
All students learn and comprehend materials differently. To help them get a full understanding of their reading materials, help them find different ways to reiterate what they have learned. Try having them draw their favorite scene from the last chapter, act out the final scene with classmates, write a poem about how a specific section made them feel, or create a pretend social media account for the book’s characters.
Help students create book clubs with others who share similar interests. Reading can be much more fun when you have someone to share it with. Especially now, when some students may be in the classroom, and others are virtual, this is a great way to build relationships with classmates. Help your students come up with questions they can use to spark discussions with the books they read.
Not only can it be fun to try different genres of books but finding new locations to read these books can be fun, too! Finding new places to read can help open the mind to new ways of absorbing/understanding the text. Encourage your students to identify fun places to enjoy their books! It could be a cozy spot in the hallway, on the couch, a park bench, or even a delightful coffee shop!