In his book What Really Matters for Struggling Readers, Richard Allington, an expert on best practice in teaching children who are struggling readers, suggests teachers use “book blessings” to give students a quick introduction to a book they might have otherwise never noticed. Here’s how it works:
- Think about the young adult books that you have read and enjoyed. These can be recent reads or even books that you read when you were in middle school. Gather a few of these books and display them in your room.
- Each day, hold up one of these books and mention the title and a few words of information on the book. You could even read a passage of the book aloud to the students. Share with them any information that will get them interested in that particular book. The goal is to entice students to read. In a way, you’re selling the book to them.
- If you can bless a few books a week, you will help students notice a range of books that are available and maybe even capture the interest of a student and get him hooked on reading. Let’s work together as a building to create a literature-rich school environment. Science teachers, let kids see you reading. Math teachers, pick up a young adult book and find out what kids are reading. Let the students see how important reading is to you, and hopefully that enthusiasm will spread.