Why Schools Should Do Choice Reads

Liz Daley, Staff Writer

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If someone were to say “All students hate assigned reading,” it would be an unfortunate fact. Every student’s biggest aggravation is when their literature teacher announces that they will be doing an assigned book. Not only does assigning students a book cause boredom and incessant grumbling, but it also discourages them from further reading.

Bad experiences with books stem from the generic way students in school have been taught to look at literature. They look for the author, the main point of the book, and maybe a few good quotes to go with it. Students don’t read for the experience of getting caught up in the life of another and relating to them through situations and words.

The books chosen by schools are no help concerning the area of getting students to read more. What they choose are books that are old-fashioned and often lack characters that students can connect with. Romeo and Juliet is a perfect example of a book that schools should not be forcing students to read. It’s implausible and difficult to follow because of the era it was written in. Also, no student wants to read about a sappy romance full of absurd ideas and decision in which the “star-crossed” lovers choose to commit suicide over a misunderstanding. What even was the moral behind that story?

Schools instead shouldn’t set limitations on what students can and cannot read.  Choice reading is the perfect way to get people to read more. By taking students to the library and asking questions to see what their interested in, schools may find that students would find reading to be a lot more interesting. It’s incredible how by simply picking the genre that interests them, students find a love for reading.

For instance, my own experience with reading resulted from reading The Hunger Games. After I discovered my love for fantasy, I didn’t stop reading. I found more and more books like the one I read and began to create a library according to the genre I preferred. Even in my own literature class, our teacher allowed us a choice read, and the result was astronomical. People, who before had said they couldn’t stand reading, were begging the teacher for more reading time. Some even continued to find other books like their own in order to keep reading more.

It’s amazing how by giving students a decent piece of literature that they are more likely to enjoy can change someone’s entire perspective on it. Reading is given a bad reputation not because it is bad. No, books are given a terrible reputation because students aren’t permitted to branch off and get a book that they would truly enjoy.

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