Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let 'em Pick! Let 'em Read!

I remember years ago I taught a boy, Calvin, who checked out the same book every week for almost his entire kindergarten year. For awhile, it drove me crazy that he would only read There’s a Nightmare in My Closet. I tried everything. More Mayer books. Books about monsters. Books his classmates liked. Nothing interested him.

One day, Calvin came to me and said he needed a book about eagles. I was stunned. So, I took him to the 590’s and showed him his options. He chose two eagle books. I was thrilled. We have a break through, I thought.

The next week he came back. "What would you like to read this week?" I asked him.
"Books about eagles."
"Which books?" I asked.
"Any books about eagles."
So, we made a break through. The days of There’s a Nightmare were over. Now it was all about eagles.

We all have kids who get stuck on an author, a genre, a book. At some point, the reader moves on. Really, they do. Sometimes we are the motivator. Sometimes not. Whatever the case, if we let a reader read, and don’t hinder him with the number of pages, variety, or other factors, kids move on. What difference does it make if they read the same thing over and over? Don’t we eat at the same restaurant over and over? Watch the same movies or television shows?

So let ‘em pick. Let ‘em read. You’d be surprised at the results.

No comments: