3 tricks to show kids that reading is a treat

Turn "have-to-read" chills into "want-to-read" thrills.

Some students would rather clean their rooms and spend five nights at Freddy’s than to Ever. Have to read. An assigned book.


So how do we show them that reading in school, and for homework, doesn’t have to be scary? How might we tweak the curriculum—even get a little creative with the have–tos in order to generate more want–tos?


Whether you’re assigning a specific title or asking students to log X amount of minutes on their own time, keep curiosity and autonomy in the mix to drive forward more empowered, enthusiastic mindsets around reading. Try one (or all) of these ideas and activities.

Kids want to battle zombies. They want to swim with sharks and fly through outer space. They want to ride on a magic school bus and chill with Greg Heffley at lunch and do their homework with Hermione. They want to choose their own adventure. Encourage it!

Reading in front of the class can bring up some not-so-great feels for kids who are self-conscious about their skills. Instead, try “choral reading” where the whole class reads together. More zen for them, and a happier crew for you.

Reading an edge-of-their-seat excerpt of a new title aloud to the class is a great way to introduce it. First, tell students the backstory of the book, offer some fun facts about the author, and pause at a plot twist that will leave them with tons of questions that can only be answered if they read the rest themselves.