1. Choose books that excite the students
If you choose books that the students are not interested in then they will not be engaged and they will not pay attention. It will also cause their relationship with books to weaken if not totally go away. In order for the students to be engaged, wanting to learn and listen, the book needs to be something that they enjoy. This is important because these are the years that students are going to decide whether they like to read or not, and the selection of the books should not be something that pushes them away.
2. Choose books that can enhance lesson plans
Books that are read in the classroom should almost always have a teachable moment behind it. Whether that is an actual lesson plan, or just a class discussion. There are tons of books out there that enhance lesson plans. Reading a book at the beginning of a lesson to introduce a topic is a great way to use children’s literature in the classroom to enhance lesson plans.
3. Read aloud daily
Read aloud time is important for all ages from Kindergarten to 12th Grade. It is a time where students can relax and listen to a good book. These books can be more of pleasure reading books, but they can also be educational. Again, it is just important to pick a book that is going to appeal to the audience. You don’t want anyone falling asleep on you! Reading aloud is a fun, calm environment that helps students think deeper and have great class discussion.
4. Read a wide range of diverse books
Every person in your classroom is unique in their own way and they enjoy different genres than others. It isn’t good to stick to one genre or one author the entire year. You should switch up genres and authors every day. Also, it is important that you pick books that have different types of characters as well. Don’t only pick books that have animals as the main characters, but switch it up so there is a variety of White characters, African American characters, animals, Asian characters, etc. Read and provide a wide range of diverse books.
5. Provide books in your classroom for both genders
Female teachers are usually more attracted to girl books, and the same is true for male teachers. You as a teacher can’t favor one gender over another. Providing books for both boys and girls is important because they are only going to pick up a book that interests them. The same goes for read aloud books. You need to make sure you have a good combination of girl and boy books for read aloud time. Boys are more prone to choosing not to read, so teachers need to make sure they have plenty of boy books available.
6. Provide time everyday for individual pleasure reading
I know the school day is busy and you are crunching for time everyday to try to get things done, but students need to develop the habit of reading on their own. When they finish an assignment early, have them pull out a book to read. When they get back from recess, have them read for 10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be long periods of time, but the more students are reading, the more they are going to grow to love it. Teachers need to provide time everyday for individual reading.