15 fun ways to switch students on to graded readers (easy readers)
1. Shared graded reader reviews Get students to write a review of the book they have read and read each others’ reviews before they choose their next book. When they write the review of that title, they can then mention if the book matched what they read about it. This is a great example of [...]
1. Shared graded reader reviews
Get students to write a review of the book they have read and read each others’ reviews before they choose their next book. When they write the review of that title, they can then mention if the book matched what they read about it. This is a great example of a truly communicative writing task, and also helps motivate them to read and remember what they have read.
2. Graded readers blind date
Students interview each other on what kinds of books they like (with an already prepared questionnaire, with a questionnaire they have written or just orally), then recommend one of the graded readers they have read or have been given by the teacher and had flicked through and read the blurb before. The students then take home the graded readers they were recommended and give written and/ or spoken feedback later on whether it was a good recommendation.
3. Graded reader cliffhangers
Use an extract from a graded reader for a reading exercise, listening exercise, dictation, gapfill task etc, with the extract especially chosen so the students wonder what happens next in the story. One or all the students can then borrow the book to read and check, and they can discuss if it was a good ending and if the ending was what they expected in a future lesson.
4. Multimedia graded reader cliffhangers
A variation on Graded Reader Cliffhangers is to show them a video of a book that has been turned into a film, e.g. Oliver Twist, stop at a cliffhanger moment, and give one or all the students the continuation of the story as a graded reader to read at home.
5. Graded reader chain reading
In a slightly similar way to Graded Reader Cliffhangers, students take turns reading a few pages of the graded reader and then report to the class on what happened in that part of the book. The students should be very keen to hear what happens, and will most probably all want to borrow the whole book or something similar when you have finished.
6. Give graded readers as prizes
Using readers as prizes not only means that the person you have given it to is likely to read it, it means you have a good excuse to ask them to report to the whole class on what they thought of it (because the whole class saw them get it), and gives a positive picture of graded readers as something nice enough to give as a prize.
7. Give everyone the same graded readers
Although not quite as fun as giving them as prizes, simply giving students a graded reader as part of the package with their textbook can help many people who would otherwise not have thought of buying one a taste of how interesting they can be and how much they can learn. If you give everyone the same book, you can do things in class afterwards like gapfills with passages from the book, using the character names for grammar presentations, and writing things like summaries and alternative endings.
8. Give everyone different graded readers
The benefits of this are the same as giving everyone the same graded readers, but this leads more naturally onto students negotiating and swapping their books, giving presentations, ranking etc.
9. Choose a class reader together
One of the best ways of getting a class switched on to a book before they even open the front page is to read catalogues, go to bookshops, surf the internet etc. until they all agree on the best title to read together. This is also all great reading and speaking practice.
10. Read readers together for pleasure
A completely unstructured and so totally alternative task is just to sit around outside reading. This is particularly useful in intensive classes that need a break near a holiday or exam, and can give a really positive image to the idea of reading graded readers.
11. Battle of the graded readers
Students try to prove why the book they have is better than their partner’s. This can either be done after they have read it, or just from what they can glean from flicking through and reading the cover.
12. Graded reader presentations
Combining graded readers and giving presentations is good because the students can recycle the language they read in the book, there are many different things you can say about a book (so they are unlikely to run out of things to see and it leads naturally onto the topic of organizing presentations into sections), and they can use some of the visuals from the book.
13. Match the review to the graded reader
With reviews written by previous students or teachers, or published reviews, students match reviews (with obvious clues like place names taken out) to the books they have been given. This is not only good for the vocabulary of different genres of books (and so for remembering vocabulary from what kind of book it comes up in), but is also a good way of students hearing about a book they might like.
14. Write your own graded reader 1
Higher level students try to write a simplified version of an extract from an original novel they have been given. They can then compare their versions with each other, compare it to a published simplified version, or try their different versions on a lower level class and see if the feedback matches their ideas of which was the easiest to read and the most interesting. This is a good time to introduce the part of modern dictionaries where they show you which words are more used or needed to reach a certain level.
15. Write your own graded reader 2
Students write the next part or ending of a book and then read and check what is different and discuss if they prefer the published version or one of their own.