Because it is required, do teachers routinely enforce a hatred of reading in most teens? Is there a way to read a book as a class, yet keep the same joy in reading it by choice? Can teachers keep to a reading schedule without falling back on daily quizzes to check for completing the reading? Are in-class projects that demonstrate an understanding of the previous night’s reading as effective at telling who did the homework? How can a teacher take into consideration both the understanding of students’ habit to procrastinate and the standards to be covered with the text to create an effective novel unit? Since so many of the things that are put in place to achieve instructional ends are the things that make students miserable when reading a novel, how can we put the fun back into reading while still measuring comprehension and critical thinking?
Feel The Freedom Within Restraints
We’re reading Siddhartha in English 4 right now. I know that when students elect to read that book on their own, it regularly ranks as a favorite. So I’m trying to go through the book as a whole class while still giving them a chance to enjoy the novel. Figuring out ways to do that has been the challenge.
Today, before we moved to talking about Siddhartha’s attitude toward his father in chapter 1, we had a brief discussion about how to keep reading fun in class. Everything that most teachers do with novels in a class (quizzes, essays, reading schedule, study questions, etc.) came up as ways to suck the pleasure out of reading. Any ideas about how to teach a novel and not kill it? How do we strike a balance between allowing the freedom necessary to enjoy something and the restrictions needed to keep the class moving?