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"Currently Reading" Posters

Susan Notes:

What a pro-reading environment this simple idea creates.

by Shari Frost

In one of my favorite middle schools, every student has a sign on his/her locker. The sign says, "________ (insert name here) is currently reading . . ." followed by a color copy of the book's cover. When you walk through the halls, you get a very good idea of which books are hot with teen and preteen readers. The display of "Currently Reading" posters has multiple benefits. First of all, it proudly proclaims, "We are readers." Think of it as a team banner. Another benefit is that it taps right into the peer relations/peer pressure issue, which becomes really important to students when they reach middle school. If almost everyone in the school is reading The Hunger Games (Collins, 2008), the other students are more likely to seek out the book. The popularity of this particular book among students even motivated me to read it. The librarian uses the information on the "Currently Reading" posters to make further recommendations to students. For example, she might say, "If you like The Hunger Games, you are going to love . . .," which keeps the students reading. It also lets her know that she had better get in some copies of Catching Fire (Collins, 2009) because as soon as they finish the first book, they'll be looking for the next one. Teachers use this information to support instruction. An eighth-grade teacher reported that her students enthusiastically made connections between The Hunger Games and The Lottery (Jackson, 1948).

— Shari Frost
Choice Literacy



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