Menu

Blogs About Reading

Sound It Out

Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Three ways to ruin a good book

May 23, 2010

Here are three ways to ruin a good book:

  • Require students to answer questions at the end of every chapter. It's been called "basalizing" a novel, and it really detracts from the literature being read. I don't want to answer questions at the end of every chapter I read, do you? There are lots of other ways to gauge comprehension, so it's okay to drop the worksheet style questions for each chapter. We can teach (and assess comprehension) from trade books without ruining the beauty of the writing.
  • Give students a book that is too hard or too easy for them to read. Rereading familiar books for fluency is an excellent strategy, but books used for reading instruction must be at a child's instructional level, not their independent or frustration level.
  • Plow through a book despite the fact that no one is enjoying it. Whether it's a read aloud or a book for reading group, continually take the group's "temperature" with a book. A book that worked with last year's class just might not work with this year's group. I'm not suggesting that kids be allowed to abandon a book if it gets too hard or is on a topic they don't enjoy. I just think there are enough excellent books out there that if something clearly isn't motivating or capturing a child's attention, steer him in a different direction.

What would you add to this list?

Comments

Make judgements about students predictions, rather than allowing them to take risks about where the story is heading or how characters will respond to conflict.

Telling a child that the book is too easy for them or that it's for "little" kids will quickly kill a missed opportunity! I often use picture books to create discussion with middle school students!

Make judgements about students predictions, rather than allowing them to take risks about where the story is heading or how characters will respond to conflict.Definitely agree with that ^ if you make judgments or "correct" their predictions, they are less likely to join in discussion, etc in the future.

Kids love reading books, but answering to questions at the end of a chapter would definitely make them loose interest from the books.

Add comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Sign up for our free newsletters about reading

Subscribe to our blogs!      

Get the latest blog posts delivered automatically to your web page, blog or e-mail inbox.

Subscribe >

Advertisement
"A book is a gift you can open again and again." — Garrison Keillor