Why Is Reading Important?

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I started the semester differently with my new crop of kids. I decided that it’s important to give them purpose for being in the Title I Language Arts class–that is, purpose more than: You scored below proficient on the short-cycle tests; You were recommended by your regular Language Arts teacher; You failed your Language Arts class last semester. So, as you can see from the slide in the background of 4th hour’s photo, I asked my readers some questions that forced them to think a little bit about reading. We used those answers to jumpstart a discussion about what reading is, why people read, and the different types of material people read.  The use of the white board to make a list of the ideas was not in my original lesson plan–I love the fact that I’m not using a scripted program and I can change things as I see fit.

The visual ended up being fantastic. Once they made their lists on the board I asked this question: “How many of these things that people read only show up within school walls?” I didn’t ask for comments, just for them to look at the list they created and evaluate. Maybe, given that purpose, they’ll find that this class can benefit them and isn’t exactly punishment.
Here are the lists my students came up with. I was excited. I don’t have a picture of 1st hour’s list; I erased it before I thought of taking pictures. It’s interesting to weigh the personalities of the students in the class against what their results.

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