Spill the Beans: Share Your Reading Life

As I collaborate with teachers who are implementing reading workshop, I share with them categories for mini-lessons. There are the procedural lessons in the beginning of the year. There are the lessons on reading skills. There are the lessons on reading strategies. There are the lessons on ways to develop our reading habits. I include in this last category the importance in sharing with students our own reading habits. Not as teacher to student but as reader to reader.

Sharing our reading lives with students becomes particularly important for students who do not have family members who read. I suggest teaching a mini-lesson series on how we find books to read. Actually, I think  books find me, and they find me in different ways. I love biographies, but not everyone’s life interests me. The ones I love to read are about the actors during the golden years of Hollywood in the 1930’s and 1940’s. I get book ideas when I read reviews in newspapers or magazines. I get book recommendations from friends who are readers, and I make recommendations myself. If a particular topic interests me, I’ll look through the bibliography and find another book to read on that topic. If there is a movie I want to see based on a book, I’ll read the book first. World War I has been a major interest of mine. I have read novels, poetry and nonfiction of that time period.

I wouldn’t overwhelm a mini-lesson with all the ways I use to find what I want to read. Each way would be a lesson. These lessons become great topics for our reading conferences where we can  invite students to share ways they use to find what they want to read.

Spill the beans. Share your reading life. It is a wonderful way to build reader-to-reader relationships with your students.

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