Reading, Books, Students Love reading, I love reading, love to read, Reading habits, Love of Books, Bibliophiles, Love of Reading, How To Instill Reading Habits In Students, Parents and Teachers' guide For Teaching Students To Love Reading

Books are one of the world’s oldest communication devices, and people have been enjoying the activity of reading since time immemorial. Yet, how do we ensure the next generation of bibliophiles? Here are ten top tips for teachers and parents alike, who love reading, to inspire a love of reading in young learners.


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1) Don’t always dictate the books

If you ask almost any adult what they thought of the books they read at school, the answer will nearly always be the same: ‘I hated most of them.’ Indeed, some adults will readily admit they now love reading a book they hated at school. The point is that we don’t necessarily love now what we loved when we were young, or vice versa, so why should it be adults (through the form of a curriculum) always dictating the books that students should read? 



Of course, there are going to be books on the syllabus that you’ll be required to teach to your students. Even if you love reading them now though, it’s going to be hard to enjoy them if you’re a student and you’re required to study them. Intersperse the mandatory syllabus choices with books that the students themselves recommend – if you remove the prescribed nature of the choices, half the battle is already won.



When you give students the choice, they’re going to want to engage with reading much more. No one wants to do something if they feel they’re being forced to do it. Giving the students a choice of books means they have more control over their learning and reading, and that goes a long way. 


2) Share your love for books

Chances are you love reading books, so share your passion with your students. Remember that students look up to you as a teacher. You’re a role model, so you can use this to your advantage. Of course, you may have to be a little crafty about it. During breaks and downtime, make sure they see you with a book in your hand. Don’t be afraid to talk about the books you’re reading right now. If a child is reading a book that you loved, make sure you tell them about what it means to you. 


Show them how books have inspired you, have made you laugh, and have made you cry. And show them how you read, both to relax and to enjoy. A passion can be infectious. When those students see you having a real and genuine passion for reading, they’re going to want to read too. 


3) Use audio, visual and technological accompaniments

This is the 21st Century. Students respond to different forms of technology, so use audiobooks from time to time, and use e-readers too, sometimes even letting them create and share e-books themselves (there are apps for this). It’s very easy to sign up for an audiobook service such as Audible, where you can access thousands of books at the touch of a button. You can have books played out loud in the classroom, or give students the choice to listen to a book as they read it. That can also help with reading skills and comprehension, as they hear a reader read the book to them, as they follow along on the page. You won’t have time to do this in person every single reading session, so this is where audiobooks can really help. 


Don’t be afraid to show them movies or take them to stage plays made from stunning original books. While some may feel that seeing a movie isn’t the same as enjoying a book, it gives your pupils a different perspective on the story in question. You can talk about what changed from the page to the screen, and why that may be. Did the characters look the same as how they imagined? Did the locations match their imaginations? It can spark a conversation about the story, and how it can change in how it’s told. 


Book readings are another great way to interact with reading. If an author is doing a reading nearby, you can look into taking your class. You may even be able to have the author come to your school and talk to the pupils directly. That gives them even more insight into the book itself, and how the author put the story together. It gives them the option to ask questions too. 


Reading shouldn’t really be about more than words on paper, but what’s the harm in using other stimulants if it instills a love of the real thing?


4) Make it social

Reading absolutely does not have to be a solitary activity. Make it a social occasion by reading together, and not just by using the antiquated format of getting students to read aloud in class, ready to be pounced upon for their pronunciation errors. Instead, find ways to make reading a fun group activity, where they don’t have to worry about getting things wrong. Instead, you want them to enjoy the book together and really bond as a group over it. 


There are so many ways that you can encourage them to do this. Get students to act out passages while you read aloud, discuss important points in groups, and form a book club! There are so many social possibilities around books – let students see that.


The way you do this will depend on the age of your pupils. If you’re working with younger readers, you can try creating different voices for the characters. Ask them what they think the character should sound like, and act it out. Creating their own play around the story is another way they can interact with a book in a more dynamic way, and really immerse themselves in it. 


For older readers, you can try some of the activities above, such as creating a book club. They get to have more agency in their learning, as they can pick from a selection of books, and talk about what they took from it. What made the book exciting? What could have been better? When they’re free to really discuss it, they’ll be able to get something new from the text. 


5) Break down stereotypes

Reading is boring. Reading is for geeks. Bookshops are for losers. These are just some of the stereotypes surrounding reading and books, but they could not be further from the truth. Even in this day and age, when comic books are cooler than ever and users on social media sites love to enthuse about the books they’re reading, these stereotypes can still remain. As a teacher, your job is to widen your pupils’ horizons and see that reading is for everybody. 


Use inspiring role models to show students how books are loved in equal measure by people from all walks of life. Books can be about sports and adventure as much as they can be about politics and business. You can use this to your advantage. When you get to know your students, you’ll know what they’re into and what grabs their attention. Are they obsessed with sports? Find the autobiography of their favorite player. Do they love to perform? Find a history book on a famous theater. If you take the time to get to know your students, you can find the books that will spark their imagination. 


Take inspiration from popular culture, too. If a book is being made into a new film, you could read the book and then take a trip to see the movie. That way, you can make the link for them, and show that books are a springboard for all kinds of new art. 


You can also enjoy comic books with your class, as they’re having such a moment in popular culture. That allows you to get even the most reluctant readers on board, and it shows them a different form of storytelling. When a writer has fewer words but more images to use, how do they get across the point of the story?


“It’s never been a better time to be a reader, as people all over the world can share their love of reading,” says Carrie Starlor, a tutor at Academized and Ox Essays. “Because of this, you can show your students just how exciting it is to read and be a part of these stories.”


Reading is really for everyone, and as a teacher, it’s your job to show your pupils this. There are no barriers, and Hemmingway was hardly a geek, was he?!


6) Make it relatable

Not every student will have the same experiences in life. As you get to know your class, you’ll see what they’re dealing with every day. Some will have different living situations, may have lost parents, moved from other countries, and so on. No one book is going to be relatable to every single pupil you have. That sounds daunting when you want to show them why reading is valuable, but you can still make it relatable for them. 


Think about what books and stories can relate directly to the students. Recognize the feelings and frustrations they are experiencing, and select books which can directly speak to them. No medium can be quite as personal as a book, if you choose the right one. Do your research beforehand, and don’t be afraid to let the students dictate from time to time.


When a student has a book that really speaks to them, it’s going to open up a whole new world of reading to them. On a personal level, it also shows that you care about the experiences they have, and that you’ve paid attention. That will mean a lot to them, as it shows that you really do care about them and the things they’re going through. 


When they can relate reading to a feeling of being seen by the adults around them, they can get much more out of reading. It won’t be something they just have to do for school, it’s something that helps them make sense of the world around them. 


7) Give realistic time limits, and work with what students actually do

When setting reading tasks, be realistic. People read at different speeds, and some may struggle for a multitude of reasons. Don’t punish students for not hitting reading targets, and don’t fail to include those who likewise fall short.


Of course, this is difficult for you as a teacher, as you’ll be required to set targets by the school itself. You’ll have to find creative ways around this to help children achieve reading goals, while still learning to love reading itself. 


For many, they may not emphasize targets to the pupils themselves, so they can get on with reading without a ‘deadline’ that they need to hit. Remember when you were at school. Reading just for the fun of it was much more engaging than reading because school said you had to. Because you were more engaged, you were actually more likely to read more. That’s something you can take advantage of with your pupils. 


Again, you’ll also need to understand each pupil’s situation, and how that affects how they read. For example, one pupil may not have a parent at home that can read with them, while another has a parent that reads with them every night. Both will have the same passion for reading, but the first pupil may not hit targets due to their circumstances. You need to be understanding about this, and work around the issues they have to help them reach their reading goals. 


“You should be aware of every child’s situation in your classroom,” says psychology writer Dominic Freeman, from UK Writings and Boom Essays. “If you take the time to know them, you’ll be able to work around them and help them reach their full potential.”


8) Use short stories

For students that are not used to reading a lot, having to sit down and read a whole book is going to be daunting. How are they going to motivate themselves to start and get through the whole thing? For many, they just won’t even start as it’s just too much. 


If you want to make it easier, make it bitesize by using short stories, which are much more motivating to students than a thick tome. Get them to write short stories too to help them appreciate the craft.


Short stories are a wonderful way of making books accessible. Select a volume of eclectic short stories and get students to read different ones, then share the stories together in class.


Having just one short story to read is going to be a much more manageable task for these students, and they’ll be able to get it read without having to spend hours and hours with it. When they do so, they may well find that they actually really enjoy it, and that reading is for them. Sharing the story with the class helps them verbalize what it was about the story that caught their attention. This way, they’ll be able to get into more and more stories and books. 


9) Let them meet real authors

Motivate your students by introducing them to real authors. Invite these authors to class and let them discuss the inspiration and passion behind their stories, and allow your students to ask questions. Similarly, take them to author appearances at local book shops and events. 


As noted above, when pupils meet real authors they can ask questions, and get to know the person behind the story. Many authors write from their own personal experiences, and that’s something that can inspire pupils. Whatever their experiences are, there may be a story in them about it. 


Take a look and see what authors are in your area. They may be reading at a local bookstore, or they may be a locally based writer who’d be happy to come and talk at your school. When you keep an eye out for opportunities like these, your students are going to get so much out of them. 



10) Just do it

There’s no substitute for the real thing, so just read. Read in class. Make sure you’re always making time to read and enjoy books in class with your pupils. Set them interesting activities based on what you are reading. Let them see you read yourself. 


When you keep reading in class, you make it part of the everyday routine. The more you do it, the more your students can enjoy stories and see the value in books. They’ll be able to get the benefit of reading when you keep encouraging them to read and discover all the stories that are available to them. Surround them with books. Spread the magic.

When you keep reading in class, you make it part of the everyday routine. The more you do it, the more your students can enjoy stories and see the value in books. They’ll be able to get the benefit of reading when you keep encouraging them to read and discover all the stories that are available to them. Surround them with books. Spread the magic.

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