TeenTober: A Teacher’s Toolkit for Promoting Reading Culture

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Classroom Application
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“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

Mark Twain

Autumn leaves begin to fall on the East Coast of the United States in October, and a hint of crispness fills the air—the perfect time to grab a cozy spot to read and celebrate the month-long, nationwide literacy celebration called TeenTober. Dedicated to the young adult genre, TeenTober is a literacy initiative designed to spark a love of reading in teens. TeenTober encourages educators, librarians, and schools to create engaging reading experiences that capture the interests and imaginations of their teenage students.

Connecting teens with captivating young adult books that resonate with their interests and experiences is essential to motivating them to experience the joy of reading. TeenTober is an opportunity to showcase a diverse range of young adult authors, genres, and perspectives, allowing students to explore literature that reflects their own and others’ lives. By dedicating the month of October to young adult literature, TeenTober encourages schools and educators to create an environment where reading is valued and celebrated. Let’s look at activities that will engage students during TeenTober. 

  • Book Presentations – Use Canva (reviewed here) to create presentations or videos featuring young adult books that cover different genres, themes, and cultures. Exposure to diverse young adult books encourages empathy and understanding of various cultures, perspectives, and life experiences.
  • Book Clubs – Organize book clubs where students can select and discuss young adult books. Use Slack (reviewed here) to engage students in online discussions. 
  • Author Talks – Share AdLit (reviewed here) a resource that allows students to hear young adult authors speak about their books, the writing process, and their experiences in the literary world. 
  • Themed Events – Themed events for your school or classroom are a fun way to celebrate TeenTober. Try dressing like a book character, decorating a pumpkin to represent a book character or theme, or creative writing workshops to further immerse students in the world of young adult literature.
  • First Chapter Friday – In this popular and engaging classroom activity, teachers, students, staff, or family members read aloud the first chapter of a book. This activity aims to introduce students to new books, generate excitement about reading, and encourage teens to explore books they might not have chosen. Use Flip (reviewed here) to record videos for students to watch throughout the school year. Teenagers are more likely to be motivated to read when they can explore books that resonate with their interests and experiences.

TeenTober gives you the opportunity to enrich learning experiences in the classroom and inspire a generation of readers. Teachers can make a meaningful impact on students’ academic and personal growth with TeenTober activities by fostering community within the classroom and the school through collaboration and shared experiences. By encouraging teenagers to read during TeenTober, educators can help instill a lifelong love for reading. What activities and resources do you use to celebrate TeenTober? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

About the author: Kevin Bower

Kevin Bower has 21 years of elementary teaching experience, is a certified reading specialist, and teaches instructional technology to pre-service and practicing teachers. He has presented nationally, had his teaching practices cited in various publications, and published a collaborative article on infusing technology into the balanced literacy classroom. Kevin’s research interests focus on using technology to best meet the needs of students with diverse abilities.

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