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Reluctant Readers – A Comical Solution

I like visiting different forums for teachers, because in like to read what other teachers around the country are doing in their classrooms. It also gives me a chance to throw my two cents into the discussion, and you know me – always wanting to teach. That’s what we do. I happened to stop by one of my favorite forums – A to Z Teacher Stuff, and I found the following post. I thought it would be a good one to share. It came from a teacher whose screen name is

I teach 6th grade and I have tried everything I know of to engage my students to reading. I cannot seem to find them interested in anything. When I tell them to check out a book at the libary, they think its just to hold on to, they actually asked “do we seriously have to read the WHOLE book.” None of their previous teachers have ever enforced it on them, their vocabulary is horrible, they cannot comprehend much. In the past years I always read Tequila Worm, which is a great book and they can relate to. They all cross the bridge daily from Mexico and have background knowledge. However, this group seems different and I am not sure they will care to read it.

Here is how I responded:

When I taught language arts to seventh graders, I had the same problem. Kids just didn’t want to read those books with no pictures. I tried different level books, but with no success. Then I learned that comic books are written at a 7th grade reading level, so I went down to the comic book shop and bought about 30 of their 10 cent comic books. I brought them in the next day, and the kids spent the rest of the year reading happily.

I know some teachers may cringe at the idea of substituting Old Yeller for Spiderman, but it worked. I found that some kids just need to have a taste of reading to find that they really enjoy it. Some students even started reading “real” books by the end of the year.

Today’s Tip for New Teachers – Visit Teacher Forums – You will be amazed at all the good information out there online in these teacher discussion forums. You can post your question or problem and have teachers from all over the country weigh in with their opinion. It’s also a place where you can share a funny story, and as teachers, you’re going ton have a lot of them. There are plenty of great teacher forums out there. Become part of the community.

That’s all for today,

Here’s to lots of Success In The Classroom!


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