One of the hardest things that teachers can get some kids excited about is reading. Some students may be tired of having to read books for school, and have been forced to read so many books they don’t like, that they are convinced it is reading they don’t like. This is a common perception, especially among high school students. It is possible to get kids to read, though; and sometimes the best way isn’t to tell them, but to show them. And the best way to show students in a classroom is with bulletin boards.
1. Book Map
Begin with popular books or even movies you already know your students like. Now make a flow chart or web of questions and options that will lead students to a book that may pique their interest. Make sure you have a variety of movies or books at the beginning of the flow, so that there is at least one that will appeal to each student. Make sure you have several questions that lead to even more book options. You can use other types of literature as well. Get your students wanting to read by offering some options that are comics or short stories. Once students find the love of reading they will look for similar reading materials.
2. Collage of Books
Make a collage of book covers and quotes from well-known and not so well known books. Most books’ covers can be found online and you can print them onto heavy cardstock or even just regular paper if you don’t have access to the actual book covers. Now find a quote from each book that will grab the students’ attention. If you aren’t familiar with a book, but know it is popular among your students’ age group, you can find popular quotes from books on the web. Unfamiliar books will often spark a conversation about a book, especially if the quote is attention-grabbing. Just make sure you have some kind of access to the book you get your student excited about reading.
3. Judge a Book by the Cover
This bulletin board is interactive and will get kids interested, but you may find it necessary to change the books frequently. You will also have to be creative with describing books without using character names or locations. You will be creating “book” covers to go on the bulletin board. Take a piece of paper and fold it in half (like a book). On the outside, come up with a description of a book. For example, for classic books such as Pride and Prejudice, you might say something like “A strong willed girl must overcome her family and her own personality flaws if she wants to find happiness with the guy she least expects to find it with.” Once the student is intrigued by the premise, they will open the flap and find the book they should read. Try and keep the premise to one to two sentences so the student doesn’t get bored reading and so not to much of the plot is given away.