It's easy to engage reluctant readers. All you need is a new approach like the one I found on Twitter recently, book dating. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.
The idea behind book dating is simple: get students to think about choosing a book like they would a future girlfriend or boyfriend. This lets students accept the idea that “breaking up” with a book is okay and that you can “flirt” and go on a date or two before making a full commitment to that book. It works from the assumption that students don't actually hate reading, just boring reading. This encourages them to find reading they do not find boring by approaching it from a new angle. The idea comes from an article from We Are Teachers by Chase Mielke that they shared on their Twitter account.
The article included an infographic that lists the stages you should guide students through on their book dating experience. There are seven stages in all. You can see the infographic below and read the full article here. The article also includes a fun idea where you have a “speed dating” experience, where students speed date books instead of people.
If you're curious about other ways to engage reluctant readers, you could consider starting them on their reading experience by reading comics or another form of sequential art such as manga or graphic novels. You can read all about that here.
What are some other ways you can encourage students to read? Have you ever tried book dating with your students? Do you believe the idea that students don't hate reading, just boring reading?
Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to email@example.com.
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