Promote reading: Activities and strategies to motivate reading

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2 Promote reading: Activities and strategies to motivate reading edited by Pat Pledger

3 This edition Pledger Consulting 2012 Permission to duplicate or photocopy materials in this publication is granted for educational use only by Pledger Consulting. No part of it may be reproduced for commercial use. ISBN Editor: Pat Pledger Cover design: Kathryn Pledger Published by Pledger Consulting, PO Box 7426, HUTT STREET. South Australia Tel.: Fax: < < We would like to thank the publishers for permission to reproduce the following book covers inside the book: Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur. Camberwell, Vic.: Penguin/Viking, ISBN Papunya School book of country and history by Nadia Wheatley. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, ISBN Trouble twisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, ISBN

4 Table of contents Introduction... 5 General ideas to promote reading... 6 Get them reading by Brenda Carter... 6 Promoting books and reading by Nerelie Teece... 7 Holiday reading lists for teachers... 8 Wild about reading campaign by Sue Warren... 9 Book Week bookmark Read similar authors and Read similar titles Strategies to get them reading by Kevin Whitney Give the kids time to read! by Mary Davidson Displays to entice the reluctant reader Finding the right book for the reader Choosing a book Can it be for me? by Judith Wakeman Collage of book covers Digital photo frames Encourage parents to borrow for their newly emerging readers Speed booking by Judith Wakeman ReadPlus reviews and poster links Speed dating by Val Weber Shelf talkers by Ros Peters Shelf talkers by Joanna Durst Talking about books Giving them wings by Dr Linda Gibson-Langford Book talks by Pat Pledger Take every opportunity to get staff talking about books Staff survey of favourite book Staff photos Book trailers and digital book talks Book reviews Promoting reading in the middle school at Mount Scopus Memorial College by Sandra Gillis One minute book reviews by Cate Evans Pee and reads Loo reviews Book reviews Graffiti wall by Sharon McGuinness... 36

5 Book clubs Running a book club by Pat Pledger Children s Choice Awards Literature units Literature circle: Year 5 Australian colonies by Fran Knight things to do with a book Meet Grace by Sophie Laguna: A unit of work by Fran Knight Journeys around Australia by Fran Knight Book spine poetry Competitions Upper primary literary quiz by Jo Schenkel Literary challenges Book Oscars Running a Readers Cup Competition by Pat Pledger Digital and online fiction ideas QR codes Enriching the library experience by Kay Cantwell Exploring digital and online fiction by Catherine Hainstock Using Pinterest in the library Get glogging by Narelle Keen Google lit trips by Mandie Gardiner Wonderful Wordle by Stacey Graham Posters The Children s Book Council of Australia - Engaging the community with literature for young Australians by Julie Wells Book Week Make the best use of Book Week in the library using the CBCA by Trisha Buckley Book Week passport by Megan Groves Book Week ideas Boys and reading Boys sharing what they see in books by Maggie Dixon Dads read, boys win: how male mentors motivate boys to read by Brenda Snead and Lucinda Whitehurst Quotes about books Index... 98

6 Introduction Welcome to Promote Reading. I am proud to be the editor and compiler of a wonderful group of ideas, activities and research articles that I hope will help the busy teacher librarian, librarian and teacher find different ways to introduce children of all ages to the joy of reading and to help keep them reading for pleasure. The authors of the articles are all committed teacher librarians who love reading and want to share their passion with children and with their colleagues. Some ideas have been also been adapted from contributions made on OZTL_NET < All the ideas could help to make the library a vibrant centre for learning about the pleasure of reading while helping improve literacy skills. The articles range from fabulous, quick ideas that can be used constantly like Book of the Week, Speed Dating, Speed Booking, and a proforma for writing a book review, to thoughtful programs that need time to develop. A literature unit example provides ideas on how to use fiction to teach history. There are humorous ideas that work well, but will also provide some laughs like Pee and Reads and Loo Reviews and serious articles like Giving wings to story that will make the reader think. Scattered throughout the book are some links to free posters and ideas for bookmarks. Articles about Glogster, Wordle, QR codes and Google Lit Trips will assist people who want to use technology as a way to encourage interest in books. For those who like to add competition as a spice to reading, there are instructions on how to run a Readers Cup competition, a literary quiz and a Book Oscars Award. Book Week will always be a time to celebrate books, and the Children s Book Council of Australia does a superb job in promoting quality literature. Children s Book Choice Awards are a useful way to find out just what children want to read. Practitioner research, supported by of the International Boys' Schools Coalition's Action Research Programme, and focused on motivating boys to read, can be found in two action research articles Boys sharing what they see in books and Dads read, boys win: How male mentors motivate boys to read. I hope that some of the ideas contained in this book will help give children a love of stories and start them on a journey of discovery about other lands and peoples, about heroes and heroines and about events in history. Pat Pledger

7 Get them reading by Brenda Carter Brenda Carter is a teacher librarian and Acting Resource Centre Manager for Catholic Education Services - Diocese of Cairns. She has worked in public, special and school libraries. Children have a plethora of electronic entertainment devices and activities at their disposal in the 21 st Century. When encouraged or required to read at school or home, a common refrain is, But I don t read! Students actually read for many purposes, from comprehending the cheat notes for an online game to keeping up to date with the latest posts on myspace or Facebook. They do, however, recognize the difference between reading snack-sized chunks of information and sustained, imaginative and reflective reading. How can teachers, librarians and parents, encourage the latter, a desire to read for pleasure? The best book for you is the one you want to read. Reading what students enjoy may help them to develop a reading habit, which in turn improves their fluency and comprehension, builds their self efficacy and encourages them to become lifelong readers. Leisure reading of any kind correlates more closely with a student's grades than any other media. As in many things, practice leads to proficiency and success breeds success. As a starting point, teacher librarians should develop a collection worth reading. Provide students with access to a range of resources that appeal to a wide variety of interests and reading levels. Suggestions for purchase can be gleaned from journals such as Magpies or Scan, from teachers, parents, booksellers and the students themselves. Is your collection current, relevant and in good condition? Do signage, displays and reader development materials and tools such as genre labels, booklists and reading websites make it easy for students to find the perfect book for them? Knowing the right questions to ask is a vital skill in matchmaking people and books. Can you tell me about a book you have read and enjoyed? can yield useful information about a reader s interest in genre, subject matter and reading level at any age. Conversely, discussing books the reader did not enjoy will guide and refine your suggestions. Our reading choices vary from day to day and year to year. The analogy What do you feel like reading today - entrée, main meal or dessert? can be helpful in validating a child s choice to read a range of material according to genre, length and complexity without restricting them to a set reading level. The 21 st century school library is a friendly and comfortable place that accommodates a range of activities, including quiet reading, research, reflection, collaboration, knowledge creation and sharing. Many new libraries have been built with funds from the Building Education Revolution and have huge potential to engage a new generation of potential readers. Does your library look like a place young people would want to visit? Do you enjoy being there? This book is a testimony to teacher librarians who are passionate about reading and developing a positive reading culture in their school. Our hope is that students will see that the library belongs to them (Braxton, 2008), and that reading reluctance is replaced by a life-long love of reading and learning. References Schroeder, N. (2010), < media/elementaryed/documents/graduateprograms/capping_samplepaper_schroeder. pdf >, accessed 11 April, 2012.

8 Promoting books and reading by Nerelie Teese Book of the Week Our Book of The Week is announced on Monday morning s student bulletin and displayed in the decorative wall stand just inside the Library door. The titles are chosen for their appeal and relevance to our middle school students. New releases are always featured as the Book of The Week, so Robert Muchamore s People s Republic, Rick Riordan s Son of Neptune, and Michael G Bauer s Ishmael and the hoops of steel have all had their time (with many others) in the spotlight. Our featured Book of the Week also caters for boys whose reading preference lies in our non-fiction collection. Sporting seasons and events such as cricket, footy (AFL), football, Melbourne s Grand Prix, and the Tour de France have all been showcased. Broader sports related titles including Winning isn t everything: inspiring moments in sporting mateship by Max Davidson, The coaches: sports wisdom revealed by David Becker & Scott Hill and What sport tells us about life by Ed Smith have all been well received by students and teachers. Our Book of the Week can also relate to specific classroom activities. Diana Patterson s The ice beneath my feet and Jason Kimberley s Antarctica: a different adventure, are perfect choices when Antarctica is being investigated in SOSE classrooms. A touch of humour can sometimes go hand in hand with our Book of the Week. The hitch-hiker s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams will complement the library s display of Astronomy resources supporting our current Science theme. It s also possible that Monty Python s Galaxy Song will be heard in those quiet moments when the teacher librarian believes she s alone with just the books Mystery Guest Readers Nerelie Teese is a teacher librarian with experience in Queensland and Victorian government, Catholic and Independent schools. She is passionate about books and reading and believes in building communities of readers in every school. Our Mystery Guest Reader program is a daily lunchtime feature during Book Week. One of the goals behind this program is to show our students that men enjoy books and reading and also enjoy talking about their reading with others. Selected staff receive a very general invitation to just tell us about a book you ve really liked for our Book Week celebrations. As Book Week often coincides with our mid-term break, we can usually only present four Mystery Guest Readers. However, this is such a popular activity with students and staff that I m able to arrange a weekly Mystery Guest Reader for the rest of term. This year our Mystery Guests talked about and read sections from a wide variety of books. Our Book Week entertainment began with The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Reach for the sky, Douglas Bader s biography written by Paul Brickhill, and Simon Winchester s The surgeon of Crowthorne led us into John Steinbeck s The grapes of wrath.

9 New Book flyers A monthly flyer promoting our new books is ed to all students and staff. The one page pdf document includes images of each book with titles and authors highlighted. A very brief blurb accompanies each image. Great Holiday Reading A list of 10 holiday reading suggestions is included in our online newsletter the week before the end of term. This pdf document in embedded in the newsletter and is looked for by many parents. How do I know this? The book list wasn t attached to one of our recent newsletters and parents contacted me to let me know they couldn t access it. Holiday reading lists for teachers The Oz Summer reads wiki for 2011, initiated by Barbara Braxton has lists of suggestions for teachers who would like to try some reading over the holidays. This has been compiled by members of the OZTL_NET < and contains lists of the best books that have been read over the year. It is organized under genres like Historical, Contemporary, Biography, Fantasy and Humour. The link can be found at: <

10 Wild about reading campaign by Sue Warren Since qualifying in 1996 Sue has had experience in primary and secondary schools - independent and public - as well as public libraries. As a passionate reader herself (since the age of three) she has constantly encouraged students to read for pleasure to spread the joy. I was in a large primary school which did not have an evident reading culture. I wanted something that was fun and engaging which would start to create a reading habit. I decided to follow up the Book Safari book week theme in 2009 with a reading challenge based around the public libraries summer reading campaign that year Read on the Wild Side. First I created a bookmark with ten challenges aimed at expanding the children s reading range and also at enticing the reluctant readers to have a go. I planned for the challenge to run for the remainder of the year. This gave some of the more reluctant children time to get some achieved. I made sure I had enough small prizes to award a token for each completed challenge. $100 got me the merchandising for the public libraries which included stickers, tattoos, wristbands (plus posters etc). I spent about another $60 buying up small toys, bookmarks and activity pads through WackyMag s website a great source for little reward trinkets. An additional $60 was spent on a box of beautiful reading themed pencils. I also approached Australia Zoo which was located quite close to us (and relating to the Wild theme) and asked for any donations. They were kind enough to send me a large parcel with items such as pencils, badges, stickers, key rings etc. When a child completed all ten challenges their name went up on a special display in the library and they were presented with a certificate (and the pencil which was the final prize). I approached the staff and asked each person to tell me something that they were currently reading. I then made tags for each. So for example: Ms Warren is wild about reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Some had Mrs. Thingy is wild about reading the newspaper each day OR Mr. Boss is wild about reading The History of Rugby League in Australia. I asked the staff to let me know when they were reading something else and then I made them a new tag. It was very successful in promoting discussion about reading not just between staff members but between teachers and children. The children would see that the staff member was wearing a tag (or eventually several) and ask about what they were reading. This was a lot of fun and so easy to do! This was a successful promotional activity. I think the time frame of roughly a term (plus the holidays) was a good length of time. I spent the few weeks after book week talking about it and explaining it and then officially started it in the last week of term. I am about to recreate this challenge activity and have decided to base it on the Book Week theme of Champions Read. I see the same problems in this school, where some children are enthusiastic readers and library users and many are not.

11 Book Week bookmark Name: Book Week Reading Challenge Read a picture book to a group of younger children. Read a magazine you have never read. Read a book from a series that you haven t tried before. Choose a book from an Australian author from the teacher librarian s list. Create a book based on the Book Week theme. Read one book from each of the shortlist categories. Check out one of the shortlisted authors or illustrators websites. Read an information book about another country and share three facts you learn from it. Watch a movie based on a book. Review a new book. Read similar books and Read similar authors Use old books or plastic holders of a similar height and thickness to use as book dividers. Cover them with bright paper and in the fiction area use these with lists of Read Similar Authors, placed next to the most popular authors in your library. Make Read Similar Authors and Read Similar Books book marks. ReadPlus, a subscription service, at < contains lists of similar authors and titles.

12 Strategies to get them reading by Kevin Whitney, Kew High School I have three strategies that come to mind. The first is: constantly seeking recommendations from students regarding titles to purchase, purchasing them and then promoting them as recommended titles. I back this up with conversations about reading preferences and that we can't imagine all the kinds of reading materials that students could be interested in nor be aware of every great book (new and old) that is published and available. Secondly I very firmly tell reluctant readers and distracted reading groups that reading makes us literate, in all definitions of the term, and literate people have happier lives, have more opportunities to earn good incomes and have more power in their choices. I have found that this speech has an impression on students and they usually settle into quiet enthusiastic reading. The third strategy is to discuss reading with the kids as enthusiastically as I do football, film, theatre and everything else that they may be passionate about - legitimising reading as an important and vital aspect of the whole package of our lives. Give the kids time to read! by Mary Davidson, Seaton High School The best promotion of reading in schools I have found, is actually giving students TIME to read! Seaton High School allows at least one hour each week in English for SSR (Silent sustained reading). The teachers read also which provides the students with a positive adult role model. Teachers regularly book their classes into the library. This gives me, as the Teacher Librarian the opportunity to chat informally to students about what they are reading. I get to know what they like to read (and what they didn t like). Hence, there is an expectation that they have their novel ready for their English lesson. It doesn t sound like much, but many schools don t give ANY reading time at all (and they don t get class time to go to the library to browse and borrow)and expect it all to be done in their own time. Displays to entice the reluctant reader Set up spinners with labels like: Quick reads Thrill seekers Books to scare you to death Books to make you cry Funky fact books Fill the spinners with books by authors like Justin D Ath, Robert Muchamore, Gabrielle Lord and series that are proving to be popular.

13 Choosing a book CAN IT BE FOR ME? by Judith Wakeman Setting the Scene It is a big responsibility spending hundreds of dollars of school money in a bookshop. How do I go about selecting which books I will put in my basket for the school library, and which books I will leave on the shelf? Obviously I can t read them all, even though I typically spend around two and a half hours at the bookshop. If I purchase 40 books, it is likely that I ve looked at, and left behind, twice this number again. So in this exercise I ask the class to consider what might influence my decision when I only have two minutes to decide per book. And then what they can look for when they are choosing a book for themselves, either in a bookshop or on the library shelves. As a rough guide I use a mnemonic - CAN IT BE FOR ME? But I do not give students the mnemonic at this stage. Depending on the class and the time available, I might use it to round off the lesson. If I am following this with a Speed Booking exercise, I will have printed copies for each table. Preparation Judith began teaching in Mathematics and Earth Sciences and also studied Computer Science at Latrobe University. After completing librarianship studies at RMIT she worked at Preston Girls Secondary College. Now at Marcellin, she shares her love of books, awakening young minds to the delights of fiction and non-fiction. I prepare a basket of books for the class which illustrate the features I look for when I am choosing a book and which I m hoping the students will discover during the discussion. My basket will need to contain books with interesting covers to begin with. Some whose covers are almost bare (Gone by Michael Grant or Twilight by Stephanie Meyer) or full of action (The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan) or demonstrate genre (Lord Loss by Darren Shan) or cryptic (Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, White Cat by Holly Black, Feed by M.T. Anderson or The Toymaker by Jeremy de Quidt). It will contain books whose covers display awards, reviews by favourite authors, reviews from influential publications, blurbs that demonstrate a variety of ways to tease the reader. It will contain books whose title is given special treatment, and books whose title is given lesser prominence than the author s name. Books where one author is given more prominence than another (some of the recent title by James Patterson), and books from an author writing for different audiences (compare Matthew Reilly s Hell Island with any of his other titles, or James Patterson s Angel Experiment with his mystery or adult novels). It will contain books with maps or illustrations such as Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. It will contain classics that have become movies or books that commence a series (Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden). It will contain books with great opening lines, paragraphs or pages and books guaranteed to draw the reader on, even from somewhere randomly chosen inside the book (Patrick Ness or Darren Shan).

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