Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Writing for Reluctant Readers

Great new art installation at our school library done by student artists.
(Had to show it off somewhere)

I took on a new challenge teaching at my school this year, and am teaching a reading-intervention class. The kids are really bright and cool, but a lot of them hate reading. I mean HATE reading. It's been interesting watching them peruse the books and reject most of them. They may sound obvious, but here are some of the trends I've noticed about the books that get snatched up first:

1. Think Thin! Since it often takes them longer to finish a book, or they just hate the process of reading, they'll go for a thin more challenging book (higher reading level) over a longer less challenging (lower reading level book) almost every time.

2. Short Chapters. When they flip through the books, they want to get a quick sense of accomplishment by finishing a chapter. Help them get it.

3. Smart Writing. Just because they might not have strong reading skills yet, their thinking skills are often fantastic so engage their smartest selves. They can even handle tougher vocab or history if the rest is compelling enough, and they want to understand their surroundings as much as anyone.

4. Action. They usually want stuff to happen, and keep happening.

5. A Contemporary Cover. Sleek & edgy are always a win.

6. Pictures. My graphic novels are often nabbed first.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing both the about the students and the artwork. Love the artwork. Might have to do that for next Halloween!!! What'd they use? Also, it is good to hear what they like when it comes to books. I have some reluctant readers in my family as well and yes shorter is always better.