Book worms! The little pink, plumb and happy, glasses wearing image holding a book is one most of us grew up knowing as the face or a feature in every library, or reading corner or even on book marks. Where has our little friend disappeared too?
As a teacher, I feel it necessary to encourage students to read and explore alternate universes, meet new characters, to be swept away by exciting adventures with Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, tales of lands far, far away even meet dinosaurs on their literary journeys.
However, when did reading become a chore? Interest in reading has plummeted to a low in my eyes. Either time restraints, not being ‘fun’, or event the inability to comprehend the stories that are carefully written and painstakingly sweat over for readers enjoyment, something has happened. This saddens me.
Book Week should be every week, we should celebrate writer’s, reading and all things literary whenever is humanly possible. But, how? And when? Time seems to be a huge common factor and making the engagement meaningful seems to be the hardest conundrum teachers, people, students and anyone literary face.
I have compiled a few ideas to assist in reading engagement in an attempt to improve student connectivity with reading and books in general. It is easy to blame technology, however I pose this question: Is technology a simple scape-goat? Is it really to blame for everything? Or could we use technology to further engage students (and people- for that matter) in reading, exploring and finding the wonderment in a story that we once found so many years ago.
1) Read a different book each day and begin a book log with students to discuss the story and find connection to ‘Real World’ situations.
2) Have a ‘Book Swap’ fair in your classroom or cohort or even school. Students could bring in a variety of books they no longer want and swap them for a book someone else has brought in and no longer wants.
3) A book recommendation list- Students could write a recommendation of their favourite books and displayed in a common place.
4) Dress up as your favourite book character.
5) ‘Name that book’ courtesy of Brenda Steffen via Pinterest.
6) ‘Time jump’ digital story. Students from different classes could create a 2-4 minute piece of a story and pass it onto another class to do another 2-4 minutes and so-on.
Not revolutionary, I know, however it can be engaging. A holistic approach to Book Week and Book Week activities would be beneficial to engagement on a larger scale.
Let’s get these kids excited by books and stories and bring back Book Worm.