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Teachers Reading Challenge

Reading for pleasure pedagogy

Open University (OU) research revealed that a robust reading for pleasure (RfP) pedagogy encompassed four practices: reading aloud, independent reading time, book talk and recommendations in a highly social reading environment (Cremin et al., 2014)

Dependent upon teachers’ knowledge of children’s literature and of their readers, these practices, when responsively combined, positively influence children’s attitudes and attainment. The research found that RfP Pedagogy must be explicitly planned, monitored and:

  • Learner-led
  • Informal
  • Texts that Tempt

Check out how teachers have developed their RfP pedagogy in line with this research here.

Reading aloud

The Poet-tree project initially involved teacher Sadie Philipps (London) reading aloud a poem a day to her class. Quickly however the children began to volunteer to read aloud their choices and new leaves were added to the class Poet-tree display around which children began to gather to read.

Tell me in Storytime explains how Ben Harris (Essex) changed his practice from making the read aloud selection based on his own preferences, to including more texts that children wanted to hear which in his class meant more ‘real life’ fictional genres. This made a marked difference to their engagement.

Social reading environments

Wild readers at Forest School describes how Claire Williams (Essex) collaborated with the children to design a new outdoor reading area. ‘Following their lead’ Claire created a social reading environment over which the children had ownership. This allowed for more meaningful, motivated, independent engagement with reading.

Reading Café This example of practice shares how Kelly Grove (London) made innovative use of Reading Cafés to involve parents and children in a range of fun reading related activities. She helped to encourage social reading in families and developed children’s confidence to talk about reading.

Informal book talk, and recommendations

Spontaneous Book Blether details how Jon Biddle (Norfolk) made some simple changes to encourage book talk at all times of the school day. Over the year children ‘took over’ the book blether and shared their own recommendations with confidence and passion and not just in the time set aside for sharing!

The Secret Book Club was created by Michelle Selley (York) in her school as a way of enthusing children to read and recommend books to others. She used an ingenious combination of riddles, secret book drops and displays to build an excited community of readers, keen to share their favourites.

Independent reading time

Supporting independent reading time In this short film, Becky Thomson (Bristol) explains how she enables the children to develop ownership of this time. She offers considerable choice: of texts- of talking- of reading alone and with each other and has seen their commitment as readers develop.

BookClub and biscuits describes how Katie Tidmarsh (London) set up a secret Page Turners Club for the less engaged readers in Year 6 and offered them new books, book talk and time to read. This had a significant impact on their attitudes and attainment over the year.

For more ideas see RfP pedagogy.

If you would like to share your experience of sharing your knowledge of children’s literature in the classroom, please use the template here and share it on the OU RfP site.