buzz book blogs-get uninterested students to read!

As kids get older their passion for reading often times decreases. Could this be due to schools and teachers assigning readings that are of no interest to today’s students? Are the classics outdated for students? I believe the classics are great reads however, although, I was an avid reader in high school I rarely enjoyed the assigned readings. I loved science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction and read on my own. But I did not like reading Shakespeare, Dickens and other great works. Could students be falling victim to a non interest in school materials, which then means to them that all reading is dull?

Patrick Higgins suggests that can be changed. Reading is a social process in which when a book is good its recommended and that process continues on through different people. So why not take that social process and put it online. Create Blogs in which the small group of students whom already enjoy reading would read buzz books. A buzz book is a book that is wildly popular for an age group ie:Harry Potter,Twilight. The students and teachers would then blog about the buzz book. Students who may not generally enjoy reading may change their minds because these books may be of interest to them.

Students need to be allowed to choose books and then they must be able to talk about them.  This is how students may learn to enjoy reading and encourage each other to read more!


3 thoughts on “buzz book blogs-get uninterested students to read!

  1. I also agree that students should be allowed to pick their own reading books sometime. We would read all the “great texts” in my high-school English class. We went through The Scarlet Letter, countless Shakespeare, Greek tragedies, Arthur Miller and Mark Twain. These texts do have a place in the classroom, but it’s important to have books that will engage students, as well. A solution to this could be allowing students to select their own outside reading book. Typically, there are four quarters in a year for K-12. Each quarter, the teacher could select a genre: Fantasy or Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary or Mystery/Horror/Adventure Spy. Students will still read the “required books” but they will have some freedom with outside reading books.

    1. Yes to self-determined reading. That said, I think we shouldn’t undervalue the relevance classics can have to students. Sometimes we, as educators, inappropriately anticipate a negative response from students about “old books” instead of introducing them as readers. The Scarlet Letter is a hot romance, and Huck Finn’s final scenes are still used to debate intention vs consequence. Part of their learning is helping them find personal relevance in literature that has nothing to do with them. I want all students to answer what the bicycle means in Things Fall Apart. Does that break my constructivist pedagogy?

      Something that worked for me, as a reader who would only read books I wanted to, was to provide a list of 30 required books, of which I needed to read 2 or 3. That worked for me. It let me try out a couple of paragraphs and toss aside 20 books before getting one I liked. For instance, I hated Of Mice and Men in 8th grade so my teacher recomended The Winter of Our Discontent – the first book I ever really liked.

  2. Hi Victoria, I really liked the concept you mentioned “buzz books” – that is a new one for me and sounds like a great alternative for today’s young readers! Even going as far as to find modern novels that follow the same story line as a classic and then writing about the two – sort of how a lot of story lines in modern shows/books follow the “Hamlet” storyline.

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