5 Tools & Strategies to Encourage Students to Read

5 Tools & Strategies to Encourage Students to Read

The rewards of reading are immense.

As teachers, it’s your task to develop the love of reading among your students and foster a reading culture in your classroom and in the school.

Reading enhances communication skills and reduces stress. However, there are still students who cringe at the thought of reading. How do teachers create readers?  Here are some tools and strategies to guide teachers:

1. Give students a choice

"In schools that have success with their pupils’ reading, teachers read, talk with enthusiasm and recommend books, the results of which are seen not only in test results but also in an enthusiasm for reading which extends beyond the classroom." — Excellence in English, Ofsted, 2011

It is important to give the children the right to choose what they read. Show your student why reading is important. Sharing and reading books to students should be a task for all teachers in the school and not just the English teachers.

Whenever they encounter a new book, encourage children to:

  • read it again

  • read anything

  • mistake a book for real life

  • read anywhere

  • dip in

  • read out loud

  • be quiet

2. Provide access to materials

Try to provide your students with access to a pool of reading materials. Create opportunities for them to start reading. Here are some suggestions:

  • Classroom library

  • National Library

  • School Library

  • Book Stores

  • Online Ebook sites

3. Independent Reading

A powerful predictor of vocabulary is reading. It plays a key role in shaping the mind. Children develop comprehension, general knowledge, and cognitive structures.

Make time each day for your students to read. Encourage them to read when they’re available. These can be any of the following periods:

  • Eating lunch

  • when they have finished class work early

  • at various waiting times during the day, on the bus.

4. Reading Challenge

Start the fun with a challenge for your students to read. Encourage them to read more books by recording their reading mileage. This just proves that a small amount of reading can make a huge impact.

Try to make at least 3 to 6 minutes a day to read.

Here’s a chart to help you track your student’s reading mileage. Imagine if they do this regularly,  how much knowledge they will acquire!


Minutes per day

Words read per year












5. Reading Mileage

You can do the following to track your students’ mileage:

  • Reading mileage challenges are good incentives as students aim for milestones such as 'the 50-page club' or 'the 200-page club'

  • Choose relevant and engaging titles for 'school assigned reading'. It helps if you consult with your school librarian and teaching colleagues for new suggestions

  • Set up a class blog for book reviews by students

  • Share relevant websites and blogs with students such as Goodreads and our Create readers blog.

  • Reading logs that include a simple record of a title and rating work well. Reading logs shouldn’t require too many details

  • Encourage reading across the curriculum

  • Identify particular reading strategies needed for different subject areas

Furthermore, here are a few guidelines to encourage your students to start reading:

  • Make them realize that books can be a refreshing and rewarding alternative to TV, movies, shopping, or hanging out with friends

  • Help them discover, or remember, the pleasures of reading

  • Require and encourage outside, elective reading, and steer them toward good Young Adult books.

  • Help them connect with what they read, and nudge them to works related to what they’ve just read, or, if they’re in a reading rut, nudge them into something different

  • Read and talk to your children and their classmates about what you read

  • Read some of what they read

  • Read aloud in class, and give them time to read in class

About the Author
Author: Farid GasimWebsite: http://edarabia.com
Farid Gasim is a Tech Entrepreneur based in Dubai and is part of regionally renowned digital agency Grafdom. As founder of Edarabia, Farid has extensive experience in serving the education and healthcare industries of the Middle East. As an integral part of Grafdom, Farid has developed digital strategies for blue-chip, government and SMEs brands; enabling them to leverage online presence and amplify social media footprint. He is a seasoned speaker with over 10 years of digital expertise and numerous public engagements at New York University Abu Dhabi, Zayed University, Higher Colleges of Technology and other industry events & forums.

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