Foster a Love for Reading

Published on Thursday, August 8th, 2019 by

ACT Chalk Talk #34

Written by: Taylor Causey 

“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”
-Mark Twain

With summer wrapping up, there’s one thing all English teachers around the nation are just itching to discover… Yep, you guessed it: it’s whether or not their students completed the assigned summer reading. Odds are at least a few completed it. Odds are at least half of those that did “complete” it googled plot summaries, watched the movie version, or skimmed as fast as possible the day before.  

The sheer act of reading (whether recreationally or for class) is the easiest way to boost your students’ ACT Reading scores. Unfortunately, we live in an age of limitless entertainment options, an age where there seems to be so much more to do than curl up with a good book. Below are the top barriers to reading, the source of all of the googling and watching To Kill a Mockingbird on film.

Top reasons students don’t do their reading:

    1. Looking for instant gratification 
    2. Mismatch between reading material and reading level
    3. Lack of interest in reading topic

The best strategies for popularizing independent reading take these problems into account, providing students quick feedback, ensuring students are matched with appropriate books, and aligning to each student’s interests.

Consider the following ideas for promoting independent reading at your school. Feel free to share with your team.

Ways to foster a reading environment: 

    1. Create a reading program at school-use incentives to drive motivation.
    2. Start the class with reading time-creates designated time to help ensure students read. 
    3. Allow students to choose their own book every month to write an essay on (with page count minimums)-helps increase interest. 
    4. Invite authors to speak-increases interest and can be very inspirational and motivating. 
    5. Create a book club-combines socializing with reading.

Do you have other ways in which you encourage reading in your school? Or a book you feel all educators should read? Let us know!  

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