Captain Underpants is a controversial character. One year he made it onto the Whitcoulls Top 100 Books for Kids list. In the same year, the books also became some of the most-banned in US schools. Like it or not, the series got young boys back into the library with the stories appealing to even the most reluctant of readers. So how can a kid's book cause such a difference of opinion?
"We are a community of readers. It snuck up on us as it usually does. Last week, as my students sat with their chosen reading adventures and I tried to figure out who to confer with, I noticed the silence "
Heather Stapleton's insight:
"Celebrate a culture of reading to show students how reading can enrich all of our lives." One of many excellent suggestions by Pernille.
"How can adults get kids more interested in reading? It’s a question that librarians, booksellers, educators and parents have been grappling with for decades. Today, the Library of Congress made a powerful suggestion, in naming a graphic novelist the national ambassador for young people’s literature for the very first time. Get the kids some comics."
The more I read and reflected over the years, the more I determined that there are five essential elements of getting children excited about reading. If these five elements are present and you are committed to upholding the integrity of each, the joy of reading will spread like wildfire.
Reading promotion gives you the chance to raise the profile of books and reading in your school, while at the same time sharing your passion for high-interest titles, favourite authors, and the joy of living a bookish life.
What prompts a teen to choose reading over a different activity during her leisure time? Several factors would contribute, surely. Reading will hold little appeal if a student has trouble decoding or has problems with comprehension.
But what if a student is a fluent decoder and generally understands texts that she tackles? What if she just doesn’t often choose to read? What might be done to motivate her, both at school and at home?
"In late 2015, Scholastic, in conjunction with YouGov, conducted a survey to explore family attitudes and behaviours in Australia around reading books for fun. The key findings of this research, based on a nationally representative sample of 1,748 parents and children, including 358 parents of children aged 0–5; 695 parents of children aged 6–17; plus one child aged 6–17 from the same household, are as follows ..."
Heather Stapleton's insight:
Included in the key findings - "An overwhelming majority of kids aged 6–17 agree that their favourite books—and the ones they are most likely to finish—are the ones they pick out themselves".
Evidence indicates reading for pleasure improves literacy, social skills, health and learning outcomes. It also gives people access to culture and heritage and empowers them to become active citizens, who can contribute to economic and social development.
" ... as kids get older and go to school, reading can be seen as work rather than fun -- and kids, especially teens, may stop reading for pleasure. Here are nine ways to get teens reading, either again or for the first time."
Stacy Creel writes: "Modeling reading, sharing books with students, and giving students opportunities to share their choices are instrumental components of encouraging reading. In the case of this research, self-selection had a significant effect on whether or not students enjoyed the books they read for school. Since most students have access to classroom and school libraries, it is important that these collections appeal to their reading interests and offer a variety of resources to support self-selection."
"In the literary world, the perception still stands that girls will read all books, but boys will only read books designed for boys, with plenty of monsters and explosions ...
Binks and children's writers Sally Rippin and Myke Bartlett were on a panel at the recent Melbourne Writers Festival, where they agreed that encouraging boys to read was more a question of breaking down gender stereotypes than putting out yet more action-packed books with boy heroes." [Article published September 10, 2015]
"Why should we keep reading aloud to kids even when they can already 'read on their own?' This talk demonstrates the magic of read aloud and reminds us all why reading aloud is so essential- at school and at home. This talk is for parents and teachers who want to teach comprehension and connect with kids in powerful ways."
It is a common misconception that male students don’t like reading. Gareth Summers, head of English at Rushcliffe School in Nottinghamshire, explains how comics can be a great way to encourage engagement with literature
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