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Sunday, February 13, 2011

For the Love of Reading!

It’s a question I hear at ALL parent teacher conferences: What can I do to get my child to love to read?   Or What can I do to get my child to read?  These are also questions that educators wrestle with as well.

As a teacher and parent I am still plagued by these questions as there are no definitive answers.  However, there are some steps that we as educators and parents can take to aid in the love of reading. 

Be a Role Model: This is a tip from an article, How to Get Your Child to Love Reading.  Children follow their parents’ lead.  If they see their parents reading they in turn, are likely to read.  If watching TV is the preferred activity of parents, then children are likely to fall into that habit.  

Likewise, children follow their teacher’s lead.  When the students are reading during DEAR time, why not read a book along with them.  Share something funny or unusual from a story you are reading.  Kids will want to share with you once you have shared! 

Make Reading Interactive: From when a child is very young to even young teens, your child or student can participate in activities that are related to the book...from dressing up like a character or creating a craft such as a time capsule.  Reading books online at sites like Story Time for Me (for ages 1-8) or Story Line Online (for ages 5- 12) are bound to grab their attention.  (Story Time Online pairs great literature read by actors and actresses!). 

Use a RockStar: My students at school and my own children love to listen to stories that have been dowloaded to their iPods.  Using a Belkin RockStar allows up to 5 headphones to be plugged into the same iPod or mp3 player.  Now five friends can listen to the same story - makes discussing a book way more fun (and they can say they are actually with a Rockstar!) 

Take a Trip: Go on a Google Lit Trip or create your own!  Using Google Earth you can locate and visit places mentioned in your reading!  Children love to connect what they are reading to real life! There are also many Virtual Field Trip sites that offer experiences via the web that engage students in their learning!  Visit SimpleK12 to check out a few ideas.

As teachers perhaps it's time to throw out the reading logs and try something new! (Read this post by Nancy Hniedziejko: Want Children to love to Read? The comments are insightful too!)

It's devastating to think your child (or student) DOESN'T love to read (much less like it). But, engaging them in conversations about what they're reading and sharing related information may pique their interest enough that one day they'll find the one book that will hook them forever!!!


What was the ONE book that hooked you as a reader?... at

Please share ideas that you have found successful! 












  1. now I know why I never read when I was a kid. . . I don't remember ever seeing a book in our house, and the only thing I saw read was the newspaper. I wasn't much help for my kids either as t.v. was more my outlet. But now I just love a good book. Well, it is what it is but I like some of the ideas in her blog that I can use with my great- grandchildren. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. My mom was a great example and that's how I started to read mysteries...she always had an Agatha Christie novel by her bed! I loved the online reading sites... and I can't believe I haven't utilized Google Lit Trips yet...have you? I'm still struggling with the Readgin Log minutes. How do we help them become accountable then? I like the phrase "Read for pleasure" and engaging with the child about what they're reading instead of logging the minutes. Hmmm.... I'm warming up to the idea. I love your blogs Nancy...I'm going to share your online resources during PLC time today (giving you the credit). Keep bloggin'

  3. Nancy, thanks for the great tips. I'm guilty sometimes of not reading during our DEAR time, and I do need to share what I've been reading, so thanks for the reminder. I love the RockStar idea for small groups. I'm going to have to check into that.

    I have a Diigo public folder that has all digital reading material for downloading and for e-readers. I've never really shared Diigo folders, so I'm not sure this is right. Hopefully the link works and anyone is able to check out the audiobooks I've collected...Diigo List of Audiobooks

    Thanks, Nancy, for another great post!

  4. Love your suggestion of the Google Lit Trips. I'm a teacher, writer and Google Earth fan, but hadn't heard of that one. Thanks.


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