With the new EL curriculum students are engaged in the reading of high-quality text on a daily basis. A Long Walk to Water, A Mighty Long Way, Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, and Esperanza Rising are a few examples of the texts that students are either listening to and/or reading themselves each day. These texts can provoke deep emotion, spark interest, and provide a jumping point for students to fall in love with reading.
Here are two suggestions on how to cultivate a love for reading using the EL curriculum as a bridge.
Use the Recommended Texts to create Autonomy:
Each EL module contains a list of recommended texts
with the Lexile level attached.
- Include a few of these texts on a display for students, and allow them the opportunity to choose the text that further peaks their interest.
- Don’t worry if a student chooses a text outside of his/her Lexile range.
Remember, we are sparking a desire to read!
Create a Safe Spaces for Reading and Discussing during School:
EL lessons are set up to encourage reading and discussing the text. Creating a safe space for both required reading and discussions can go a long way to motivate students to read.
- Abean bag chair, a fuzzy rug, maybe even a lamp... Items like these can help turn a small corner in a drab classroom into a “safe space” for reading.
- EL encourages teachers to engage ALL students in daily lessons that require critical thinking about complex, worthy ideas, texts, and problems.
- Teachers are encouraged to craft discussion questions that will elicit responses from each student in the classroom.
Create a Safe Spaces for Reading and Discussing after School:
When the bell rings at 3:15 p.m., everyone is ready to go home. However, incorporating Book Clubs as an after-school activity can further drive students to read, read, read!
- Start interest based book clubs that meet regularly, and encourage that student to join.
- The recommended texts found within each module provides a wealth of reading materials that further drive students to read and speak about the text.
Once we’ve sparked a desire to read, we ignite a fire through engaging conversations about the reading!