Teaching Students to Enjoy Reading

The other night, I went to see the new Twilight movie: Breaking Dawn Part 2.

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Yeah yeah… joke, laugh, scoff. I read all of the books and enjoyed them. I never got an I ❤ Edward tattoo

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or started acting like the clumsy, pale, socially awkward Bella Swan – I was pale and clumsy before the books came out.

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But I enjoyed the love story and enjoyed the easy read and flow of the Twilight series.

I do remember being caught up in the stories and always being disappointed after the book finished, or when I had to put my book down and return to my seemingly uneventful life. I remembered that feeling of being so caught up in my books’ plots, and I can define it as a love/hate relationship. I love that words on a page have that much power and can affect readers that way. I hate that it makes me feel so boring and unsatisfied with my life. 

As a teacher, I want my students to enjoy reading. I want my students to be wrapped up in a book and have that opportunity to read for fun instead of reading and analyzing the crap out of it.

I remember my junior and senior year of high school, my English teachers started out class by allowing us to read for the first 10-15 minutes of class. It was a nice, relaxing way to settle into class and have that allowed time (usually reading at home for fun couldn’t happen because of all the time other homework would take).

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My senior year, my teacher required us to read 350 pages from our free reading book every two weeks. She would ask us our current page number at the end of the reading time as a way to check attendance. It was stressful to have that as a requirement, but it was also nice to have such an easy assignment to finish up our senior year.

As I am continuing on my my education classes and learning more about teaching techniques and such, I am noting and remembering the things I want to incorporate into my class.

I am curious to hear about any other English classroom techniques teachers used in other classes that fueled our interest in reading and writing. Comment away!

-Tara

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