Dear LA Teacher,
I’m a 7th grader at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood. My English teacher assigns us 20 minutes of silent reading every night, and we have to keep a chart of our progress. I hate to read! Could you suggest a few tips to make my reading homework bearable?
Middle School Student
Dear Middle School Student,
I have four ideas up my sleeve to make reading homework fun.
Choosing a book
A lot of times reading becomes boring because the books we choose don’t inspire us, or they are too difficult to read. Go to the school or the Los Angeles Public Library and scan the YA bookshelf. If you see a book that grabs your attention, read the blurb on the back cover. Still interested? Good. Now read 2-3 pages. The book still has your attention? Great! Check it out.
Some people find sitting down to a thick book scary. If that is the problem, there are plenty of magazines for teens in those libraries. Try reading a 3-5-page story during your allotted time. Also, ask the librarian about anthologies. Those are books chock full of short stories. You don’t even have to read the entire book, just the stories that appeal to you.
Follow your heart
What interests you? If you want to become an astronaut, look for books—fiction and non-fiction—about space exploration. Interested in football? Look for biographies about famous NFL players or fictional accounts of the trials and tribulations of football players. The library is brimming with books in every subject area. Guide your reading toward the books and articles that you are motivated to learn more about.
Get Mom and Dad involved
If you find a book that interests you in the library or bookstore, see if there is a duplicate copy on the shelf. Ask your mom, dad, or grandparent to read the book, too. Once a few chapters are read, discuss the material with the adult. These conversations will make you feel special and motivate you to pursue further reading the next day.
Now that your armed with four powerful reading tips, go get a book or article and enjoy.
LA Teacher is the author of The Abduction of Joshua Bloom.