While there are a number of effective strategies to instill a love of reading among your students, booktalks are one of the most fun and engaging. With weekly booktalks, your students will be inspired to really dig into the book they’re reading, but most importantly, they’ll develop important critical thinking, listening, and presentation skills they need to succeed inside and outside your classroom. 

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Here are a few suggestions from the educators Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward, authors of From Striving to Thriving: How to Grow Confident, Capable Readers, on how to conduct your own booktalk and inspire a love of reading among your students at the same time:

  1. First, introduce the book to your students by holding it up, flipping through the pages, and sharing all the interesting aspects of it.
  2. Next, describe its genre, define it, and share examples of other books your students may have read that are part of the same genre.
  3. Find other ways to relate the book to others your students have read and love. This way they’ll be even more intrigued by the story and can begin to think about what’s in store for them while reading.
  4. Choose a passage from the book and read it aloud to your class. A short read-aloud is a great way to introduce the tone and voice of the book to your students and will help them determine whether or not it’s a book that interests them.
  5. Sum up the plot and storyline, but don’t spoil it!
  6. Next, ask if any of your students have already read the book. Encourage those who have to share their thoughts. What did they like about it? What surprised them?
  7. Leave the book out so students can take a look for themselves. A frenzy for the book may ensue, so be sure to make a few other books from the same genre and topic area accessible.
  8. Finally, have your students do their own book talk on a title they love.

Booktalks are not only a wonderful and effective way to introduce your students to a wide variety of books and subject matters they’ll love to read, they’re key to helping your students grow as readers. For more booktalk tips and reading strategies, be sure to check out From Striving to Thriving. It’s filled with fun and innovative ways to meet the reading needs of all your students, helping them achieve reading success and become more confident in the classroom.

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