Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Lists: Part One

As a literacy teacher, what is the most common thing that I hear day-to-day in my classroom? "There's no book out there that would interest me." My response is always, "oh yeah, you like movies? video games? have hobbies? then, in the expanse of literary materials there's something out there for you." To which they usually stare blankly at me trying to figure out what "expanse of literary materials" means. After defining said terms, I explain that the biggest obstacle to any reader is finding that genre of text that grabs you & emphasizing that novels are not the only source for reading.

So what do I do to change this ideology in my classroom? Students make book lists. They use their interests to research & find options of possible future reads. Well, that sounds all fine & dandy but in reality, children, (and usually adults) have a very hard time actually pinpointing their interests and transferring these interests to literary sources. Don't know what it is, but, for some reason, when confronted with "what am I interested in", we humans, tend to blank.

To combat this issue, we spend time at the beginning of the school year doing two things: interest surveys & book talks. If you would like to see the interest survey that I use for my classroom, here is a link to it! (I would love suggestions on how to simplify this; it's way longer than ideal!) Every day for the first couple of weeks, I modeled a different book I had read over the summer using my reading blog (see my blog here.) We used these to help accumulate possible reads for their future book lists.

Look forward to next week's installment where I will go more in-depth into how to have students make easy book lists and some resources for students to easily find things to read! As always ladies & gents, please like this post, share it on social media, & email me your quandaries and/or future post requests!

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