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How Can I Motivate My Students to Read More?

June 12, 2019 8 Comments

Want to know the secret to motivating students to want to read on their own?

Do you know what 10,000 research studies have proven to be the best way to build reading skills?

It is reading aloud to children!

The benefits of reading aloud to a child continues even after a child can read independently.


Here are 12 reasons why you should make time to read aloud to your class:


  • It is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding. (Massaro, 2015)

  • Promotes discussions about topics in critical and significant ways. (Wisemen, 2010)

  • Gives experiences with language that requires students to make sense of ideas. (Trelease, 2013)

  • Improves independent reading proficiency. (Neuman, 2000)

  • Encourages children to focus on important text ideas and reflect on them. (Doiron, 1994)

  • Helps students make connections across cultures to real life situations. (Barton, 1990)

  • Increases students’ interest in independent reading. (Serafini and Giorgis, 2003)

  • Enhances imagination, creativity, memory, and curiosity. (Bridge, 2009)

  • Grows background knowledge and understanding of universal concepts. (Dyson, 1994)

  • Increases students’ listening skills and attention spans. (Koralek, 2003)

  • Permits students to hear what proficient reading sounds like. (Torgesen, 2004)

  • Introduces students to the pleasures of reading and texts of all kinds. (Barrentine, 1996)

You can boost these benefits even more when you combine reading aloud with guided conversations that promote reflective thinking. This practice is known as an Interactive Read-Aloud.

While any book can be used for an Interactive Read Aloud, it is good to have some questions in mind beforehand. You want to take time to pause and have the listeners reflect upon what they have heard so far. What are they wondering about? Do they have a prediction about what will happen next? Is there a word that is new to them?

I like to use sticky notes and place them on the page where I want to ask a question. I’ll have this ready to go before I read to the class.

Here are two of my favorite read alouds for Back to School week:

If you would like a week’s worth of activities plus printable Interactive Questions, I’ve done all the work for you!

Each of these resources include a week’s worth of activities to do before, during, and after reading the story.

✽ Lesson Plans & Teacher Tips
✽ HOW to PRINT on STICKY NOTES (I’ll show you!)

✽ Interactive Read Aloud Questions (place inside the book)
✽ CRAFTIVITY (with writing activity)

✽ Vocabulary / Word Study booklet

✽ Story Elements Flip Book

✽ Mentor Sentence (complete with how to instructions)
✽ Responses to Reading
✽ Writing Activities ( 2 different lined styles)
✽ Author Biography
✽ Student Bookmarks (kids LOVE to collect these)
✽ Sequence of Events
✽ Summarize the Story
✽ Character Traits

✽ Vocabulary Posters
✽ Letter to the Author

Both of these resources are available at my store. CLICK HERE to learn more.

For more great ideas from teachers for teachers, check out these posts:

Alison Monk

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  • thosewholoveteaching August 10, 2018 at 2:42 PM

    I really enjoyed your post, and I love the printable sticky notes!

  • Margo Gentile August 9, 2018 at 11:06 PM

    thanks for the back to school read aloud book selections. What a lifesaver that you’ve included so much to enhance students’ understanding of the stories. Looks like a couple of “must-have” resources!

  • Lisa Robles August 8, 2018 at 7:20 PM

    Agreed…the only way to be a better reader is to read!!

  • Purposeful Plans August 6, 2018 at 9:02 AM

    I absolutely love your sticky note in the book resource! You gave great tips! Thank you for sharing these ideas!

  • Tracy August 6, 2018 at 8:38 AM

    And…it models fluent reading! Love that your products promote writing about reading, too! I can’t see anyone’s else’s links to follow, thought!

  • Kathie Yonemura August 5, 2018 at 8:27 PM

    Read Aloud is my students’ favorite time of day! Thanks for the research to back up this important time slot!

  • marcyhowe August 5, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    The quotes and statistics are great evidence. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thia August 5, 2018 at 12:41 PM

    Thanks for this great research-based post!

  • Leave a Reply

    Welcome! I'm Alison Monk, a primary teacher with a passion for creating educational materials that engage kids and teachers love! I hope this blog encourages and inspires you. I'm so glad you are here! Read More

    About the Literacy Garden

    My name is Alison Monk and I love helping teachers like you be successful. My passion is to support you with effective tips and engaging resources. I love children's literature, Golden Retrievers, and coffee!

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