Reading is a super complex activity. When you stop and think about it, the human brain goes through a pretty incredible set of actions before it can turn squiggly lines on a page into a set of meaningful words. Because learning to read is such a complicated task, it’s no wonder that students sometimes need a little help when it comes to feeling excited about reading comprehension.
Change your students’ perspective and you’ll easily increase the level of reading engagement in your classroom. It’s all about presenting reading comprehension in fun and fresh ways.
Here are four ideas to get kids excited about reading:
#1: Turn Reading into A Super Power
What if students thought of reading comprehension, not as a chore, but as a superpower? What if students knew that doctors needed to read books to save lives? And they knew that books helped scientists dream up new inventions?
Reading has helped people figure out how to fly, see in the dark, and cure diseases. But we should also let students know about the everyday superpowers that reading gives us – like how to read a bus schedule to get to school on time, or reading directions to learn how to play a new game. When we frame reading as the greatest superpower, we turn every day reading experiences into super human fun. And best of all reading power is a real power!
#2: Turn Reading into Detective Work
Learning to comprehend text is a lot like being a detective. A good reader makes predictions, look for clues, make inferences, and then puts all the pieces together to understand what’s happening in the text. Much like a super smart sleuth, a good reader sets a purpose for the task at hand. So what if you framed reading as detective work?
- Start by setting a purpose for reading every time you open a book. Just as a good detective has a goal, a good reader should have a reason for reading.
- Then decide which tools you’ll use to work your way through the text. A good detective has tools and looks for clues. Explain that a good reader uses comprehension strategies to find clues about the text.
#3: Use Reading Comprehension Strategies to Unlock the Secrets of All Subjects
Students should know that being able to comprehend what they read is important for every class and every subject. Make sure students understand that reading will help them unlock the secrets of math, art, science, history, music, and more. That means the same comprehension strategies they use to understand and enjoy the books they read should be reinforced during every subject. Here are 10 essential reading comprehension strategies that students can use any time they read.
Click each of the strategies below for some clever ways to incorporate comprehension strategy practice into your everyday instruction:
- Ask Questions
- Determine Importance
- Identify the Author’s Purpose
- Make Connections
- Make Inferences
- Make Predictions
- Retell and Summarize
- Understand Text Structure
#4: Show Students that Reading Is Their Passport to the World
Even if you can’t actually travel, you can always open up a book and explore a new place or a new topic. That is one of the awesome perks of reading—it transports you to somewhere else! You can get your students excited about reading by telling them they are going on an adventure every time they open a book. Help them see reading as a way to see new people, places, and things.