A new year with a new beginning and lots of new plans, including plans for reading of course! It is a good time of the year to motivate our students to read more in both English and their first language. Encouraging them by giving some guidance can lead to a more successful and enjoyable reading year. What practices can we follow to get our student to pick up more books and read other texts than their course books?
Here are three very simple approaches to planning your classroom reading in the new year. We believe that letting your students pick from a list of different genres is motivating and gives your students greater ownership of their reading. Letting them choose from a recommended list for the whole class can make it more like a classroom experience plus you can organise book discussions every or every second month.
Here's a simple tip: let your students choose a short story, poem, play, graphic novel, graded reader, original fiction or non-fiction book for every month, but also pick at least one book to read as a class from now until the end of the term. If all goes well, they will have read twelve books of their own choice and at least three books in the classroom reading group by the end of 2017.
The choice of themes you can introduce is endless and setting or finding relevant themes can feel challenging for that very reason. We recommend our general reading planner which gives you an overview of available genres and themes. It also helps you visualise your goals. Use this as a guideline, changing and introducing themes of your own.
1 Read around your course book.
You know your course book and the general interest of your students. Have a look at your contents page to see what topics you are going to cover, and then have a look at our readers catalogue to see which books fit best with these themes.
2 Read around themes.
Collect twelve interest groups or hobbies with your students, and find themes which match them. For example, you can have themes such as sports, space, nature, animals, detectives, adventure and travel. Then check our catalogue to see what is available for these themes.
You can focus on famous classics and select a few titles to read as a class. The list above is from SURE, the Helbling course book for teen learners.
3 Read around the months.
Each month on our blog we will be reading a book and exploring a theme together. Join us and read with us throughout the year, sharing your thoughts and experiences.
For example, in January we're reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll as we celebrate the author's birthday at the end of the month. And during January we will be exploring the theme of colours in various stories and language activities.