Inquiry #1: Fostering Reading

Promoting Reading

Throughout my High School teaching career, whatever subject I have taught, I have tried to incorporate and foster reading cultures in my classroom. I have been able to collaborate with other teachers and TLs to learn and share things that have worked to foster reading.

Collaboration among teachers:Teachers have collaborated with the TL to develop common goals for fostering reading. We have developed a good collaborating team that is open to sharing ideas about books we have read, books for the students, ways to make reading fun and engaging etc. We felt that it is extremely important to model a passion for reading ourselves, and to respect all literature and students choices of types of books and genres. Being a role model could involve reading a book during the 20 minute silent reading time or during literature circles and being able to discuss books to the students and encourage others to talk about their favorite books. The TL has displays or bulletin boards in the LC for new and recommended books and authors for students. Displays can also be used in classrooms in order to share one’s love of literature with the students. Check out this display lesson for promoting reading.

Ideas and strategies!It is plain and simple; students need to be able to read for pleasure! Allow them to find a good book that they enjoy and they will become engaged in reading. Reading for pleasure builds enjoyment and skills for lifelong reading and learning. Our English classes read for pleasure every other day (because they only have that classes those days) for 15-20 minutes. They are able to pick any book that they enjoy and read it during this time in whatever comfortable position they choose.readers

The creation of a positive reading culture in the English department may carry over to other departments or any teacher interested in fostering reading. In Science I have brought in interesting Science books or the students have picked their own that they can read and share with others at either the beginning or end of class. Allowing students to read at their level, and “[g]iving them materials that are within their respective zones of proximal development positively affects their perceptions of themselves, helping them to have a “can do” attitude when it comes to reading” (France 2015).

Literature Circles

Ideas for the literature circles are to choose 5 books that students could pick from to read. This becomes more of a book club idea where you read and then discuss. Class time is given to for the students to read and then discuss certain pages, chapters, characters, setting, etc. This would move the circle from reading to a more social outlook and discussion. This is important because is makes connections for students and allows them to ask questions and inquire knowledge from one another.


Audio books have been used in the classroom around novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird or some of the Shakespeare readings. Students would read a portion of the book, listen to the audio, or listen to the teacher read it aloud to the class. Reading to the students is important and I think they enjoy this strategy. “It was the best time of the day, I love to read in different voices and ‘ham it up’, depending on what book we were reading” (Dabbs 2015).

E-readers are also available (although we don’t have many at our school). Some students like it because of the lighting, screen, font size and some reluctant readers will use it because it is new technology and it gives them confidence when reading. It doesn’t matter the reason as long as they are reading.

One step further..

Encourage the school community to participate in Drop Everything and Read (Oct. 26, 2015).

The TL has had competitions among Gr. 8 classes for the most books read and supplied a pizza party for that class.IMG_1349-4

There is an individual reading challenge for the remaining grades of the school. Some teachers may have a guest come in to read to the class. There are teachers who go all out and have the students dress up as their favourite character in the book and discuss and share their experience or understanding of the book.

Having a powerful website and getting as much information online so that students have access anytime and anywhere is also important to promoting reading. This website popular links for accessing good books like Goodreads and Books on the Move. 


Books on the Move. (2015).

Dabbs, L. (2015). Read With Me: 5 Tips to Foster a Love for Reading. Retrieved from

Drop Everything and Read. (2015). Retrieved from

France, P. (2015). 5 Anchors for Using Technology To Teach Reading. Retrieved from

Goodreads. (2015).

Khadri, S. (2015). Retrieved from

Readwritethink. (2015). Retrieved from

Ultimate Rob. (2015). Retrieved from



5 thoughts on “Inquiry #1: Fostering Reading

  1. A good blog post outlining some great ideas for encouraging and supporting reading in your school environment. You included a couple images and some links, but no videos, and your blog post is missing “tags” or “Categories” that help label this blog post as being about “reading” or “literacy”. Tags and Categories are ways to attach keywords to your blog posts to help sort and curate them for later. Overall, a good blog post about all of your ideas for supporting reading.


  2. I agree that the most important way to foster a love of reading is to allow students, especially teenagers, to choose their own books. When I was in high school (a long time ago :-)), my English 12 teacher handed all students a list of suggested books (some were classics and some brand new). He allowed us to choose the number of books we would read for the year. We could read in any order and at our own pace. Our only requirement was to write a book review for each book we read and share it with another student. I loved this idea and read just about every book on the list. There was no pressure and, for me, this really encouraged me to read even more.

    Using technology to allow the students to engage with class readings is also a great idea. It allows the students to hear others read the same story and listen to their interpretation of the text. I love listening to audio books for that reason.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas.


  3. Andrea

    Thank you for highlighting the importance of collaboration between educators. I recently read Cris Tovani’s books: Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Content Comprehension, Grades 6–12 and I Read It, but I Don’t Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers. She works extensively as a reading specialist with teachers in all subject areas at the secondary level. Collaboration really helps to build a culture of inquiry and learning through shared reading experiences. I recommend both of these books to anyone interested in supporting reading at these grade levels.

    Although I always struggle to use another person’s lesson plan, I am also excited to explore more resources on Read Write Think: I am curious to see if I can use Goodreads and Books on the Move to support learners at the elementary school level. I think accessing reviews and new authors and titles helps to draw out excitement about reading.



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