“Keeping students motivated to read and write throughout the school year can be a challenge for any classroom teacher.”
This is the opening line of an interesting (and short article) by Wendy Ranck-Buhr from NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English (in the U.S.), that I just read titled “Motivating Readers Through Voice and Choice.”
“Sometimes it is not the reading or writing itself that drains motivation from middle school students but the ways we ask students to demonstrate what they know.”
The rest of this short article goes on to provide suggestions for how to engage students in writing and reading throughout the school year. Although technically aimed at middle school teachers and students, I imagine the strategies are applicable to high school English classes and students as well.
- Blogs: teachers can use blogs to communicate with both students and parents, and students can use blogs to showcase work.
- Literary café: the teacher can host a book chat or book sharing session once in a while in their classroom along with beverages on tables covered in cloths.
- Showcase: providing an audience beyond the classroom can be a great motivator for students and their writing. Teachers can showcase writing on the Internet, for example, or or in literary publications.
The author concludes by wondering:
“What would it take to make every student in your class a self-motivated reader and writer?”