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Developing the Joy of Reading in Students

  • Do you want to help students develop empathy and critical thinking, master complex text, develop varied sentence structure, and perform better on standardized tests?
  • Do your students groan when it’s time to read, or skip reading passages altogether?
  • Do you want to develop students who are life-long readers?

The solution to these issues is to raise the reading level in the classroom, also known as raising the literacy level of students. Assigned reading alone will not raise the literacy level - students need to read every day, and they need to "want" to read. Students won't choose to read unless they enjoy reading.

This course will introduce you to ways that you can help students develop a love of reading, which can take your classes from this: Boredreader.jpeg to this: 2017-Readathon-Group-1180x785.jpg

Who is this for?

Who can benefit from this course?

This course is designed for teachers in elementary grades through high school grades who would like to encourage reading for pleasure in the classroom. The course is primarily designed for ELA teachers, but it is possible for teachers in any subject or grade level to find something of use here. Besides English teachers, social science teachers may find it useful to bring in some of the ideas here, such as book clubs. Math and science teachers may find it difficult, but it is certainly not impossible if the teacher would like to bring in more reading time. Reading can be incorporated into any course, so long as there is a willingness to do so and enough freedom granted by the requirements of the school.

What will you get out of this course?

When finished with this course, learners will

  • Be able to design and implement a Joy of Reading project that fits the particular theme or curriculum of their class.
  • Understand the practices that lead to raised literacy.
  • Know where to access the research that supports these interventions.

What will the learner do? (Performance Objectives for Course)

  • The learner will reflect on and self-assess his or her own strategies for encouraging reading in the classroom
  • Following the presentation of resources and ideas, learners will reflect on new strategies to explore by identifying which stand out the most.
  • Keep a record of, and reflect on, the resources and information you accessed during the course, and create a visual representation of the resources that seem useful to you.
  • Create an outline using 3 or more strategies and how they could fit into your current practice.

To get started, you'll need to access the suggested graphic organizer and reflection journal here:

Outline of Course


This course will take you through several ideas for encouraging students to read. These ideas are purposefully chosen because they represent activities that do not feel like traditional school activities and have been shown to impact students' desire to read.
A word of caution - the activities described here may appear to be too loosey-goosey to belong in school - it's best to keep an open mind!

Unit I: The Research

Unit II: Building Excitement

Unit III: In Practice

Unit IV: Product

Proceed to Unit 1: The Research