Classroom Activities and Strategies
A successful reading program requires time for reading (yes, in class, yes, even in secondary school), choice (whether that’s within book clubs or on independent paths), available books, and some peer to peer conversation about those books and book choices.
For specific activities for elementary school, see the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project resources page for a trove of resources. For secondary school teachers, you might start with the NCTE resources page, or see below for some specifics.
- For specific middle school methodologies, read: Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: A Practical Guide for Teachers. Text by Sonja Cherry-Paul and Dana Johansen.
- For broad strokes on high school approaches, read: 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle.
- For specific high school methodologies : No More Fake Reading: Merging the Classics With Independent Reading to Create Joyful Lifelong Readers by Berit Gordon
- Read Alouds, Even in Secondary School (International Literacy Association)
- Read Alouds for Middle School from Laura Lee at Edutopia
- Independent Reading in Class (International Literacy Association)
- Roles in Literature Circles (The Teaching Channel)
- Questions to Ask of Any Literature (middle and high school) (From Loose Canon) Download
- Using Book Clubs in the Elementary Classroom (from NCTE)
- Using Lit Circles in the LS and MS classroom (from Katherine Schlick Noe, PhD)
- Teaching Annotation (from NCTE)
- The Commonplace Book (middle and high school) (From Loose Canon) Download
- Literaturecircles.com (From Harvey Daniels)
- Spotlight Reading (from Roy Smith at aplithelp.com)
- Incorporating Independent Reading in AP Lit (Lindsey Schneider at aplithelp.com)
- Strategies to Engage Reluctant Readers in Independent Reading (Adrian Nester on aplithelp.com)
- 11 Alternatives to Round Robin (and Popcorn) Reading (From Edutopia)
- For Parents: How to Raise a Reader (From New York Times)
Teachers: We would love to hear from you. Please send us a link to your favorite classroom activities for independent reading.