Beyond Just Books: Sparking Children’s Interest in Reading

Evan T. Ortlieb


It is imperative that teachers use non-traditional texts to engage readers so that children do not become disinterested in the reading process. Too many times, young children develop a dislike toward reading, which can last a lifetime. Beneath layers of frustration and previous failures, there lies an urge to read within every child. Often, students love to read other types of printed text such as magazines and newspapers while they would not even consider reading a book. After surveying my class of 25 students to determine their reading interests, I gained administrative approval to subscribe to several magazines and newspapers specifically geared towards children. Once these reading materials arrived, I acted as a salesman, trying to convince my class to read the new types of print. Using centers, my students rotated between reading magazines, newspapers, and hypertext on a daily basis for 15 minutes. As a result, my students no longer complained that reading time was work; instead, reading became a fun activity. The non-traditional texts acted as springboards towards reading meaningful books.

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