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boy and girl wearing knit crowns looking at reading picture books with mother
Dr. Joanne Meier
Sound It Out
Joanne Meier

A reader’s confession (AKA the need to read widely)

As I think about the Common Core State Standards and the recommendations for increased nonfiction reading, I must confess that my own reading choices (for pleasure reading) are quite narrow. I read fiction, and that’s pretty much it. Sometimes an occasional piece of historical fiction creeps in, but by and large, my Kindle is full of regular ‘ol fiction.

It’s a different story during the day. Then, my reading is almost exclusively nonfiction. Newspaper articles, journal studies, press releases, and reports fill my screen. I know how to read each one with skill, and do so strategically. (Thank goodness for the grad school prof that taught me to read research studies from end to beginning to charts and then middle!)

It’s important for kids to read widely — from lots of different genre — in order for them to gain experience and practice reading different types of text. Think about your students or your children. If given the choice, would they read the same type of book over and over and over again? If your answer is yes, maybe some sort of genre tracking chart would be helpful to encourage more variation in what they’re reading. Something quick and easy to use, on which a child keeps track of the different types of books he’s read that month.

I gathered a few examples on our Genre Pinterest Board (opens in a new window). Check it out, and please comment in if you use one we should add!

Reading Genres (opens in a new window)

About the Author

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

Publication Date
January 9, 2013