Sunday, July 12, 2015

How to Help Students Find Books They Like

As a bookworm, I've always been of the belief that people who don't like to read just haven't found the right book yet. :) Here are a few tools you can use for kiddos who can't seem to find anything they like to read:

This search is best for students who know of a subject or topic they might be interested in reading about, but they don't know of any specific books they've enjoyed or might want to read.

In the "all books" section, just type a title, author, or keyword and click the red "find books" button. 

If the student has a favorite book and wants to find something similar, click that middle tab labeled "search for similar books," type the name of the book, and click the green "find similar books." 

Then you can narrow down the results by reading level, interest level, theme/subject, or genre {not pictured below because there were no options listed under "genre" for my searched title"}. I searched for The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and got 20 search results.

This search engine is best for students who have enjoyed at least one book in the past. 

Type in the name of a book you enjoyed {and the author}, and Book Seer generates a list of similar books from Amazon. I typed in Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss and got these results:

This search engine is also good for students who have enjoyed at least one book in the past.

ELA teachers, this might be a great way to kill two birds with one stone during that first week of school; kids will get to search for some books they start the year reading {and what a good opportunity to also teach them how to find what they need in the library!}, plus you'll get to know each student a little better based on which books they choose to read. 

Taking it a step farther with tech integration:

1. Back-to-school project: showcase 5 books that describe your personality. Use ThingLink, Tackk, or Shadow Puppet Edu to create a collage, poster, or slideshow of the book covers. Students can type or orally narrate how they relate to each book.

2. Reading Goals: which 5 books do you plan to read next, and why? ThingLink, Tackk, and Shadow Puppet Edu would work well for this project, too. 

3. Like suggestion #1 or 2 but don't have time to integrate a full project? No problem. Use Answer Garden to let students put titles and authors on the board and try to find common ground with classmates.  

4. Book Reviews: students can record themselves reviewing a book on something like Shadow Puppet Edu, Seesaw, or Link the recording to a QR code and place the QR codes on a bulletin board or even on the back of each book in your classroom library. 

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