Literacy is one of the most important academic skills that a student needs in their educational career, and sometimes it can be difficult to encourage a young child to read, let alone, enjoy it. This week on January 22, schools across the nation will be celebrating National Reading Day. National Reading Day is a day in which schools, libraries, nonprofits and more celebrate reading in order to instill a lifelong love for learning as well as reading.
In one of my small groups (fifth grade English Language Arts) I have been pushing my brilliant scholars to not to just read, but to enjoy and appreciate what they are reading. One thing that I do to ensure they enjoy it is by choosing fun, interesting, and exciting stories. This week, we will be finishing our third novel of the year, Where the Red Fern Grows. This novel, written by Wilson Rawls, is a heart-touching story about a country boy and his two dogs that not only change the course of his life, but also save it. By engaging the text with my students, I try to ask open-ended questions that allow my students to dig deeper, and find personal meaning in their texts. A genuine love for reading develops when students can see themselves in the characters, stories, emotions, and text. Therefore, by finding key relatable moments in the novel, I am able to hone in on the relationship between my students and the stories they read, and create lasting, empathetic, and meaningful discussions.
In order to celebrate National Reading Day, my group will have a reading party where we will enjoy snacks and read the climactic finale of our book. All of my students have been extremely anxious to finish their book, and I am excited to celebrate the ending of our longest novel of the year. I also plan to be celebrating my students challenging feat of reading and learning with passion, and comprehension.
I encourage everyone to take part in National Reading Day. By grabbing a book and taking time out of your day to read, you are modeling positive behaviors to your students or possibly kids of your own. If nothing else, it is a great excuse to curl up with a book you love and get lost in another world.