Voluntary Reading Be a Book Worm
Voluntary Reading must be taught to encourage students to read for pleasure. When children learn to love reading, they will be encouraged to be lifetime readers. John Royce emphasizes, “We read for information, and we read to learn, we use reading for a great many things, but we practice and improve our reading skills by reading for pleasure.”
Students will be encouraged to read voluntarily without receiving a reward or grade.
(a). Halloween Poem (“Let the Children Be” by Judith A. Lindberg)
(b). Holes by Louis Sachar
(c). Be a Book Worm Graphic Organizer
A. Read a Halloween poem (“Let the Children Be” By Judith A. Lindberg)
(a). Talk about why we chose to read this poem.
B. Discuss the need for voluntary reading.
(a). The act of reading will be less like work if children are given plenty of practice in reading. John Royce
(b). They will make the most of their practicing if they feel they are getting somewhere, if they enjoy what they read. John Royce
(c). Clearly if we are talking about individual readers, we can have no all-encompassing objective definition of goodness. We need to think in terms of the best book for the child at any particular time, and this calls for a wide range of books and of children. John Royce
(d). Our concern is to get kids hooked on books, because reading enables learning, and because reading is an end in itself. John Royce
(e). Without voluntary reading the negative drawbacks of the Matthew Effect will come into play. Voluntary reading can encourage the positive outcomes of the Matthew Effect.
C. Ways to Implement Voluntary Reading in a Classroom
(a). The class should promote a reading friendly environment.
(b). The teacher must always model the importance of voluntary reading within the class: read a variety of text aloud to the students, read silently when the students are reading silently, be open to students selection of literature, and always allow time for independent reading in the classroom.
(c). Daily Uninterrupted Silent Sustained Reading time such as DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)
(d). Frequent trips to the library.
(e). Book talk sessions and small reading groups.
(f). Research author of the month, including Internet searches and emailing the author.
(g). Students may maintain a reading journal.
(h). Students should be encouraged to publish reviews of the books they read.
(i). The teacher should read a small portion of a book to leave students interested in reading the book on their own.
(j). Students can be given a graphic organizer to chart which books they have read and if they liked or disliked them.
D. Benefits of Voluntary Reading
(a). Students will learn that reading can be for enjoyment or pleasure not just for a grade.
(b). Reading skills are improved by reading for pleasure.
(c). Reading for pleasure and information develops reading interests and offers children the opportunity to practice their reading skills in meaningful ways. Beverly Swanson
E. Read a portion of a book
(a). Read a chapter from Holes by Louis Sachar to get students interested in reading the book voluntarily. Emphasize Holes is a Newberry Award winner to get the students interested in award winning literature.
East Dunbartonshire Council. (2002). Services to Schools Promoting Reading for Enjoyment.
Lindberg, Judith A. “Let the Children Be.” Available:
Royce, John. (1995). Lifelong Reading Element #4: Interest and Enjoyment. Reading Matters.
Sachar, Louis. (1998). Holes. New York: Random House Children’s Books.
Swanson, Beverly B. (1993). What Can I Do For My School-Age Child Who Doesn’t Like
To Read? How Can I Improve My Child’s Reading. Available:
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