Effective Strategies for Motivating Reluctant Readers

photo © 2009 Easa Shamih | more info (via: Wylio)

While you can certainly try to point them in the right direction, the truth is, you can't make your students passionate about reading. And unfortunately {this is going to haunt all the perfectionist, control freaks out there}, there is no such thing as a perfect reading program. As Laura Chandler - author, teacher, and creator of the blog Laura's Voice - writes,

"There’s no one way to teach reading that will meet the needs of every kid in your class. Children are too different, and their needs are too diverse..."

So where does that leave you {the exhausted teacher who just wants to see your students have successful and fulfilling experiences with reading!}? In her newest post, Chandler discusses just this dilemma, laying out several strategies for motivating your reluctant readers. Of course, not all of these ideas will boost your students into immediate reading bliss, but as you try some of these new strategies, you may just unearth the middle ground, where reading assignments are met with less groans and more open minds.

Here's a little sneak peek at a few of Chandler's strategies...

  • Pique their interest by reading aloud {theatrically, of course, and with as much silliness as you can muster!}. In other words, draw them in. Weave a tale of intrigue using various voices and characterizations that leave them wanting more. While a performance arts class at your local community college would be a bit much, Chandler suggests practicing by reading for a small child to get comfortable {who hasn't pulled out all the stops for a captivated two-year-old?}. The concept is one and the same, show them how much fun you're having and the rest will follow.
  • Let them read nontraditional literature - graphic novels, magazines, blogs, etc. If books {for whatever reason} aren't the student's fancy, be open to the idea of pursuing other opportunities for reading practice!

...of course you'll have to visit Chandler's blog for the full post {and ten other effective strategies for motivating your reluctant readers!}.