One of the difficulties of teaching using literature or fiction is getting students to actually read the material. There are a number of distractions that kids live with these days, especially those of middle school and high school age. From sports to extra-curriculars, to family responsibility and friends, there are a number of things that keep kids from reading at a time when cultivating their skills and learning is so important. There are a few things that make kids more likely to read, however.
1. If Their Parents Are Readers
One strong indicator that a child is going to be a frequent reader is if his or her parents are frequent readers. If parents are readers, there are more likely to be books in the home. Additionally, creating a culture of reading, learning, and personal development through engagement with a book is also going to help foster a relationship between a child and the act of reading. About 75% of teens and middle school age students had a parent, church leader, teacher, or other adult recommend self-improvement and leadership books in the last year.
2. If They Enjoy the Material
Kids are also more likely to read if they actually enjoy the material they are reading. This is obvious, but it’s important to know what kids are actually going to enjoy and respond to. Fantasy is probably one of the most popular genres among teens and preteens these days. High school and middle school fantasy books are featured more and more often on reading lists, so the best books for middle school students and high school students are going to fall into that genre.
3. If They Understand How Important Reading Is
Another factor that comes into play here is kids’ understanding of the importance of reading. If kids understand how important it is that they read, the more likely they’re going to be to read. High school and middle school fantasy books are going to be popular, but if preteens and teens actually have an idea of what reading is going to do for them academically and in terms of personal growth, they’re probably going to be more likely to read regardless of genre.
Do you have any tips for helping kids read more? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.