Giving Students a Reason to Read

Giving Students a Reason to Read

Posted by Brainspring on 6th Mar 2017

In all my years as a reading tutor, I have found it hard to motivate students to want to read. Yes, I can teach them the code (phonics), I can practice fluency and build their vocabulary. I can show them how to add expression to their voice and attend to punctuation. We can, of course, work on comprehension, visualization, and prediction. All the above are important skills and should be mastered. The way to become a better reader however, is to read and it is your intrinsic motivation which will drive you to practice.

In my quest to provide positive reading experiences, I have found giving my students a reason to read will tap into that motivation. Following directions, learning new games, and reading simple plays are just a few interesting activities your students will enjoy. When they are interested in the subject matter and find it valuable, half the battle has been won.human-724042__340

Following Directions

Many students enjoy crafts and creating things. There are innumerable projects available on the internet you can use to give your students practice reading directions. One book from my childhood perfect for these activities is:

  • How to Make Flibbers, Etc. by Robert Lopshire (still available on Amazon).

Your students see a tangible goal at the end and will work toward that goal. They are so involved in the project itself, the laborious task of reading become a secondary (but necessary) part of the process.


The above also holds true for learning new games. Card games in particular are fun and easy to learn. They also only require a deck of cards. Some easy card games available online:

Note: some of the directions must be rewritten for your struggling students.


Reading simple plays will encourage students to read and reread text. Rereading allows students to attend to punctuation, gain sight word vocabulary and practice expression. Assign parts to your students and provide them with a highlighted copy. Plays require students to practice the text many times (and add expression). The “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” series is perfect for two people.

In conclusion, getting students to want to read will be the key to success. It will be your quest to find that motivation.

Ingrid Hartig, M.Ed., CDP

Ingrid Hartig is a Master Instructor and Education Consultant with Brainspring Educator Academy.