Let’s Talk About: Teen Read Week

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Teen Read Week starts today and this year’s theme is right up my alley: It’s Written in the Stars: READ.  During Teen Read Week, we need to encourage our teens to “hit the books” in a fun way.  So many times teens only read when it is required for school. Using this year’s theme, we can help our students to pick up a book and read for pleasure.

TeachersFirst has a number of resources to help you and your teens choose books to read:

Teen Read Week is a great time to introduce our networked teens to social ways to enjoy books. Here are a few ideas on how you could do this:

  • Goodreads (reviewed here) allows teens to build virtual bookshelves to display books that they have read or want to read.  Students can review books after reading, and read the reviews of those who have an interest in the same genres to find their next book.
  • LitPick (reviewed here) allows a teacher to sponsor a group of student reviewers.  Students get free copies of books in exchange for honest reviews.  Students can earn point and badges, enter contests and might get their reviewed featured in the site’s newsletter.
  • If you are hesitant to have your students engage openly on social media, perhaps you could set up a class Siftr (reviewed here) activity similar to this one. Have students take pictures of the places that they read and add a pin with their photo on the map.  
  • A class Flipgrid (reviewed here) is another option for a social experience within a “walled garden.”  You might try something like Coffee Table Book Talks or Book Club Vlogs

Beyond book discussion and review, you can show students how to use media to share about what they have read.  Animoto (reviewed here) is an easy way for students to make and share videos.  Big Huge Labs (reviewed here) allows students to create motivational and movie posters, as well as magazine, covers so they can share what the book meant to them.

How do your students choose books or share what they have read? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author: Ruth Okoye

Dr. Ruth Okoye is the Director of K12 Initiatives at The Source for Learning. As a long-time technology coach, Ruth shares ideas and strategies for professional learning and thoughts on how to motivate yourself to “dig deeper” into educational technologies.

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