Over the past 3 years while working in an elementary school library, I have observed that the fastest way to get students to pick up a book and read it is to have booktalks. What is a booktalk? A booktalk is basically sharing a book with students. I like to do this in a variety of ways, depending on the book. I sometimes share booktrailers which are like movie trailers, showing exciting parts of books to entice students to read them. Scholastic has very good booktrailers ready for use as well as author interviews. Some authors have wonderful websites that I will share with students. These will contain summaries of books, videos and sometimes games and printables. With a chapter book in a series, I will share the first couple of chapters of the first book in the series. This will hook several students into reading the first book. I have noticed that even if only a few students read the book presented, several more will request the book in the weeks that follow. Then they will come back for more books in the series. Ta-da!
We often forget how important it is to build students' vocabulary. In order to become better readers, students must build their vocabulary. In schools today, the focus has been primarily on spelling skills and comprehension of terms has been secondary. There are many ways for students to acquire new vocabulary terms and to understand them, so that reading comprehension is achieved at higher levels.
Vocabulary Buidling Games
The Provlem Site
As a librarian, one of the most important tools I have when it comes to encouraging students to read, is a list of high interest books. These are not written down anywhere. I have come to know them well. These lists accumulate from the books I have read and loved and from listening to and watching hundreds of students reactions to books they have read and find interesting. There is not one list of high interest books for students, but a number of them. For instance, I have one list of high interest books for low level readers, another for high level readers, one for beginning readers, one for the student who insists he doesn't like to read, and so on.
Rosie is a an elementary school librarian in Virginia. She believes that inspiring students to want to read is her top priority as a library Media Specialist. She knows that the skill of reading will promote student success in all realms of life.