For any teacher, you want to instill a love of your subject in your students. This aim can certainly be a challenge, especially if they have no interest in the subject to begin with. For literature teachers, you likely have to work with plenty of students who say they don’t like to read and are not interested in books at all. However, once you can convince your students to pick up a book that they’ll be able to relate to, it will be much easier to get them interested in reading. Here are tips on how to pique your students’ interests when it comes to literature, even if they haven’t spent much time reading in the past.
Make the classics relatable
A big obstacle in studying and learning to love literature for many students is that they do not find most literature assigned in class relatable. It’s important to show your students that they can relate to and understand classic literature; consider showing modern adaptations or interpretations or highlight ways plots and ideas from classic literature relates to modern events. Once they read literature, many students find they can make emotional connections to many of the characters.
Include modern literature
Classic literature is valuable and provides plenty of learning opportunities to students, but modern literature is also a great way to spark a love of literature in students. For many, modern literature is easier to relate to and more comprehensible than classic literature. Include pieces of modern literature on your reading list and you’ll be able to reach some students you couldn’t have with simply classic literature.
Offer extra credit
A good motivator to encourage students to read more is offering extra credit. Instruct them to do a write-up or read a book on their own that isn’t on the class reading list. Knowing that connecting with literature in a different way than what’s required in class is a good start to introduce students to literature and help them become interested in reading.
Use other media
Sometimes, the idea of reading just isn’t appealing to some students. However, you can teach them about classic literature by using other kinds of media. There are plenty of movies that are decent adaptations of books. You can also find in-depth discussions of literature online or create interesting powerpoints that teach students the basics of a story. If you can intrigue a student with surface details or a movie, they’ll be more likely to read the actual literature.
Create group projects
Many students enjoy working with others. Creating group projects around literature is a good way to get students interested in reading. Being able to discuss literature with other students helps them connect with the story and understand it better as they discuss it with their peers.
Show them the benefits
There are plenty of benefits to reading, whether it’s classic or modern literature. Reading helps people become more well-rounded and can assist in academic, personal, and professional capacities. There are lots of themes and details in classic literature that often crop up as references in modern literature or media. Once students understand the benefit of reading literature, they’ll become more interested in gaining what they can from it.