Outside Reading

Standard

Deep has an interesting re-direct to a series of posts reflecting on the art of the book review.

It reminds me of an issue I struggle with unsuccessfully year after year in my English classes: how to promote and assess outside reading.

Two things I remember about reading when I was in middle school:

  1. Some of the most memorable and influential reading took place at the end of elementary school and during middle school.
  2. At the same time, the frequency and interest at which I read took a serious decline. It was at this time that I only read books assigned for school. [Correction: I did start reading comic books voraciously, though].

Anecdotally, my experience seems to be fairly common. Is this a developmental thing? Is this a front worth fighting?

If so, it’s one I’ve found fraught with issues:

  • How do I ensure students have actually read the book?
  • How do I know students haven’t read the book before?
  • How can I not kill the enjoyment of reading a book?
  • How can I encourage kids to make personal and contextual connections to what they’re reading?
  • If I’m going to asking for a book report, how can I ask for something that is more akin to a good book review and less a mere plot synopsis?
  • etc. (currently in a brain clutch, can probably think of more later)

I’m toying around with the idea of blogs being a possible entree into this. Any suggestions welcome.

outside reading, book review, blog

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