How to Make Reading Fun for 7th Graders

If you have a son or daughter in 7th grade, you may be looking for some activities that make reading fun for your student. Keep reading for a few ideas and tips that you might find useful at home.

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Fun Ways to Encourage 7th Graders to Read

By middle school, students are beginning to be pulled in a dozen different directions - new friends, school clubs, organizations, sports teams and homework - and may not have very much time to read for pleasure. They also may regard reading for school as a chore or simply a means to an end. By having open discussions and providing your child with fun reading activities, you can get him or her excited about reading.

Keeping Your Students Engaged

Any material you present to your 7th grader should be relatable to his or her life and interests. If the books for school aren't holding your child's interest, put the power in the hands of your child and have him or her pick out a book. Present your child with lists of books and reading materials for fun. It doesn't matter if some of the books they choose are below the 7th grade level. Any quiet reading time you can create in your home will most likely prove to be positive and may encourage reading for pleasure.

Focusing on Authors and Genres

Share the poems or prose of a particular author with your child and ask him or her to use the content of the text to make guesses about the author's biography. After writing a faux biography of the writer, he or she can read the actual biography. Many children will have fun comparing their predictions with the truth.

Go to local events at libraries or bookstores so that your child can meet authors in real life. Your child will likely be motivated to read when he knows he gets to meet the actual author who wrote the book. While your student is reading, encourage him to think of analytical questions to ask the author.

Compare genres of fiction and nonfiction and find out what your child enjoys. Some children may enjoy science fiction while others enjoy realistic genres, like historical fiction or biographies. All of these interests are valid and worth encouraging. Discuss the different genres by comparing and contrasting their characteristics.

Activities and Games

Hold a 'scavenger hunt' for characters, events or ideas in a book. Give your child a list of events from a novel and, after locating the moment in the book, have her write the page number down on the sheet of paper. This activity encourages students to think about the sequence of events. It also gives students practice for locating evidence from a textual source.

Have your child record how much time she spends reading at home versus watching television and create a chart. After she logs a certain amount of reading time, attach a reward. For instance, you may have a pizza party book club, where you discuss the book she's reading in a fun, relaxed setting.

If your child enjoys technology, encourage her to create an online book blog. Your child can post reviews of books that she's read for pleasure or for class. Students may enjoy posting work on the Internet that friends and relatives all over the world can read. Working on a reading blog will not only provide reading fun, but will also help your child develop technology skills.

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