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This article was written by
Dawn Little, Founder
Links to Literacy 

Author of:
Creating Bookworms: Five Ways to Raise a Reader this Summer
Created By: Dawn Little

The lazy days of summer are the perfect time to help children create a reading habit. Intrinsic motivation is necessary if we want to build lifelong readers. When children are motivated to read, it shows. They find pleasure in reading that comes from within. Here are five ways you can help motivate children to read and raise a reader this summer:


Choice is so important when motivating readers.  If a child doesn’t feel as if his reading choices mean something, then why will he want to read?  Allow a child to choose his own reading material (magazines, graphic novels, books, informational guides, etc.), places to read, or time to read.  


Read Alouds  
Twenty-five years ago in Becoming a Nation of Readers (Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson, 1985) reading aloud was called “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading” (p. 23).  Never underestimate the power of a read aloud.  Reading aloud provides an opportunity for children to hear what good reading sounds like.  It also allows for adults to entice children with wanting to hear or read more (see #4). 


Book Clubs
Book Clubs are a perfect opportunity to demonstrate for children the social aspect to reading.  Readers enjoy sharing recommendations of great books or discussing their likes and dislikes of a book.  If your child isn’t already in their own book club, consider starting a summer book club for them with a few neighborhood friends.


Book Talks
Book talks are advertisements for books.  When a parent or a teacher talks up a book and reads aloud parts of a book, it tempts children to want to read that book.  Read an exciting part, a scary part, any part of the book that makes the child want to pick up that book and read it himself.    


I began this list with choice, which is so important for a child to be motivated to read.  Equally important is allowing children to choose reading materials related to their own interests.  When children feel validated in their choices based on interests, they will want to read more. 

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