When students are encouraged to pursue their own interests and passions and are free to choose from a rich collection within an inviting environment, they are motivated to read and their reading and depth of understanding improve.

The Learning Commons can nurture good reading habits among students.

Together for Learning p. 16. (OSLA 2010) 

Explore the T4L vision for reading engagement, including some practical ideas for implementation, on pages 16-17 of the print document, or on the corresponding page in this website: Reading Engagement

Ideas to Consider for Motivating Readers

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  • Include high interest reading material in the library collection.
  Graphic Novel List (PDF)
  • Investigate the use of comics for Reading, Writing and Media Literacy strands of the Language curriculum. e.g., Create a wiki to organize your research and ideas. 
   Comicsing wiki 
  • Include books that reflect the students' ethnicity, religion, gender orientation. 
  Closing the Gap List (PDF)
  • Provide a reader's advisory group with budget to purchase books for the school library. Take students on a field trip to a nearby bookstore to make the purchases.
  • Use Goodreads to create genre and other lists. Collaborate with other teachers and teacher-librarians to build recommendations.
  • Use the services of valued book wholesalers and retailers, many of whom create "best picks" lists for various topics, i.e., GBLTQ, character education.
  • Create brochures and lists for students to connect them to books that might stimulate reading, based on interests. Share your brochures online.
   WRDSB Library Reading Lists
  • Develop lists of book recommendations collaboratively with other teacher-librarians.
  • Use Voicethread for booktalks and for peer response, e.g., Students can be directed and asked to answer questions and support ideas, or responses can be left more open for students to express ideas in free discussion.
  • Teach students how to create their own book talks - great as a culminating task and a way to celebrate literature circles. Use tools like Animoto or Bitstrips.
  Tips for helping students create book talks
  • Pair up fiction and non-fiction books to motivate the reluctant reader and create a virtual book talk to mount on the library website. Example for junior boys: Pair Deadly Voyage by Hugh Brewster and Explore Titanic by Peter Chrisp
  Titanic Book Talk on YouTube
  • Use Moodle (or your board's D2L or Kidblog) to offer students an opportunity to blog or share book talks about titles they have read.
Book trailers for an Inquiry Literature Study
  • Set up issue based "book clubs". By reading brief excerpts from a wide selection of related books, students sample a wide variety of texts (explore) and can choose the ones that are of greatest interest to them. Because a theme is pursued over an extended period of time students make reference to previous readings or additional readings in discussion with other students. 
  • Try activity-based extra-curricular book clubs.
  "Based on a book" book club launches students into the real world  
  • Build a Graffiti Wall for poetry or research units. Include a variety of text, visual, written, materials. Work collaboratively with teachers and classes to build collective ideas. Students love this collaborative space and will often seek the wall as soon as they enter the library for their poetry period. Many will even start bringing their own glitter, stickers, etc. to enhance their representations. This should not be competitive, but rather a collaborative space, so not divided by classes. Collaborative virtual graffiti is another option.  
  • Provide students with opportunities to respond visually to text as groups. Groups would discuss and agree on key points and then create their responses, e.g., Collages, mindmaps, charts. These can be displayed in the school library physical or virtual spaces.
  • Host an "Amazing Book Race" - a "hand's on" race to collect books. Just like the show. Students meet literacy challenges in the local community with books for reluctant readers as the "prizes".  
  College Street PS Amazing Book Race Media Story
College Street PS Website: Amazing Book Race

Ideas to Consider for Connecting Readers

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  Wiki Ideas: Not Your Grandmas Lit Circles
  • Use Twitter for students to make connections around books they are reading: e.g., Use Twitter to communicate as a character from a book or play.
  Andrew Martin, a science fiction character from The Postironic Man by Isaac Asimov paired with an historical figure, Marcus Aurelius
  • Invite a local public librarian to come into the school to work with classes (share books, storytelling, introducing the public library website and resources) and sign up students for a library card.
  • Use the OLA Forest blog sites to encourage discussion around Forest of Reading ™ titles.
  • Have students create short videos - book talk, dramatization, author interview - and post QR codes in the library and school to connect to these student-created resources.
  School Library Journal: QR Codes Go to School
  • Prepare students for an author visit.
  Frieda Wishinsky on preparing students for author visits
  • Connect readers to authors via a virtual author visit using Adobe Connect or Skype
  Skype an Author Network
  • Get students talking, sharing ideas, asking questions and debating issues about what they are reading through book clubs and reading groups. Consider connecting a face-to-face book club with sports or games. Follow up a book discussion with a game of chess or a Wii game in the library, or move to the gym for a game of volleyball after the book discussion.
  Teacher Tap on Book Clubs and Reading Groups

Ideas to Consider for Supporting Readers

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  • Use text to speech readers such as Kurzweil or Premier to make the Forest of Reading™ titles available to all students.
  • Promote graphic novels as worthwhile reading options for students. Consult vendor for best choices for age appropriateness.
  • Connect readers of different abilities through book clubs, e.g., Pair up ELL and mainstream students with graphic novels.
  • Use engaging picture books that student can relate to in terms of their own experiences, e.g., Mirror by Jeannie Baker, which is particularly powerful to use with ELL students. Read aloud and then do a think/pair/share about students' own experiences. Create Voicethreads in their own languages with interpreters, create skits, storyboards, etc.
  • Celebrate and value all text types as part of a diverse reading menu, e.g., Build a book talk around a theme such as survival and pair up novels, non-fiction books, websites and even newspaper articles for reading promotion.
  • Teach student about censorship and banned books. Build on the work of Jo-Anne Gibson's unit You Can't Read That
  Freedom to Read
ALA Banned and Challenged Books
  • Invite book recommendations with survey tools mounted on the school library website
  • Build a professional space in the virtual library for teachers, and collaboratively develop a selection of helpful articles on issues to support diverse learning and reading needs.

Ideas to Consider for Fostering Reading Communities

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  • Create reading clubs for students based around various genres that run for a finite period of time throughout the year, e.t., science fiction, graphic novel / manga, historical fiction
  • Initiate a staff professional reading club that will meet the needs of the Annual Learning Plan. This could be face-to-face or virtual depending upon the needs of the group.
  • Use text-to-voice readers such as Kurzweil or Talking Word Processor to provide audio for books to identified students.
  • Build a collection of professional books and online articles for both teachers and parents on topics like reading, teen issues or bullying.
  • Support reading at home with tips for parents, reading lists, or links to a demo video.
  Reading Aloud: Tips for Parents and Teachers
Read Aloud With Your Child: Video Demos

  Use the Leading Learning standard, Fostering Literacies to Empower Life-Long Learners (p. 17) to guide program growth.