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My ideas for increasing reading in high school students

Time spent reading has been linked to not only more knowledge but the development of identity, empathy, and better writing ability. Yet the amount of outside reading students do decreases on average during their high school years. How do you or would you recommend or encourage it in young people?

    1. Don't assign books.

    I used to give my students a list of books to read and then we would discuss the books in class. This rarely worked.

    2. Give them a list of 10-15 books, but tell them they can pick from any category (fiction, non-fiction, biography, etc).

    Let's say you want your kid to read more biographies. Or maybe you want them to read more fiction but not sure what good novels are out there.

    3. Tell them "we'll have a quiz".

    Give them the list of ten or fifteen titles and say, "Pick one book from this list and we'll have a quiz at the end of the quarter on all these titles."

    4. At the end of the quarter (or semester), give a quiz on ALL THE BOOKS STUDENTS READ IN THAT TIME PERIOD.

    This will encourage students to pick books that they think they will know well enough to pass the test.

    5. Make it worth their while.

    Students only have so many classes in high school or college and are always competing for grades with other classes that seem just as important as yours. So make it worth their while by making it part of their grade in your class if they do well on the test at the end of the period (or semester).
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