As a teacher or administrator, you know the importance of reading for becoming a lifelong learner. Not only does reading open your mind, but it facilitates a new way of thinking about and understanding of the world. And these are just a few reasons why reading is so important to education in the classroom.
Despite reading’s validity, a recent study by Scholastic has shown that students’ enjoyment in reading is declining, with only 51% of kids saying reading is something they enjoy doing for fun. Combining this with the fact that more than 36 million adults in the country cannot read highlights the importance of cultivating students’ interest in reading right now– because a future without reading sounds a little scary, right? And with September being National Literacy Month, now is the perfect time to utilize these five ways below of encouraging a love of reading in your students – for the long run!
Read and Share
One of the best ways to foster an interest in reading for your students is to be a role-model reader yourself. Bring in the books you are reading to school and your classroom, and let your students see you actively reading during your down time, like while they’re completing assignments. You should also talk about the books you’re reading to your students and highlight your excitement for what you’ve learned or where it will progress.
Organize a Book Club
Many students need to interact and socialize around books. This is where organizing a book club, reading group, or literature circle would greatly benefit cultivating students’ interest in reading. Not only does it have the potential to enhance comprehension of the book, but it creates a sense of community and excitement over books in the classroom.
Take a Field Trip
Another great way to get students’ excited about reading is to take a field trip to spaces where books are present. This could be your local library or a bookstore, where students can be surrounded by books, touch them, and pick out their own to take home.
Invite an Author to Speak
Having an author coming to your classroom is intriguing way for students to see the value of reading and its importance in other people’s lives outside of school. Students may feel a closer connection to a book they’ve read in your class when they meet the writer of the book. They’ll also see how reading can open-up possibilities for the future and may be inspired to read more and become writers themselves!
Make Your Classroom Reading-Friendly
Making your classroom reading friendly is also one of the best ways you can encourage your students to read. Fill your room with books of all sorts of varieties. Allow your students a time of the week to choose a book they’d like to read and don’t limit them on their choices. You can even let them take it home over the weekend. Children are more likely to be motivated to read if they are able to make their own decisions about reading and pursue their own interests.
Celebrate National Literacy Month all Year
So, if you’re ready to celebrate National Literacy Month, you can start right now by cultivating your students interests’ in reading all year long with these five ways we’ve just outlined. You’ll be on your way to influencing lifelong reading habits for your students and all the benefits that come along with it.
And if you’re searching for engaging lesson plans that foster reading comprehension and facilitate learning, browse our selection of affordable and applicable ELA lesson plans right here!