April 19 2023

10 Ways to Get Students Excited About Reading

10 Ways to Get Students Excited About Reading

Getting students excited about reading can be a daunting task for parents, educators, and schools. At Readability, we work to support students in reading practice by offering guided practice using the latest technology. You can learn more about Readability at the end of this article.

Let’s unpack the many different activities, lessons, and learning opportunities to help excite and motivate students intrinsically to become lifelong readers. In an article from Edweek, they share strategies for encouraging students’ intrinsic motivation to read. According to the article, “It is critical, especially in the early stages of literacy, to associate reading with pleasure and the delight of learning new information. Students who don’t read are intrinsically motivated to avoid pain or failure. As educators, we can alter this motivated avoidance of reading by reintroducing students to successful, joy-filled experiences with books.”

While it seems easier to offer rewards, providing students with a sense of competency and the ability to set their own goals can be more rewarding in the long run.  In an article from the American Psychological Association, they express the importance of providing students with opportunities to learn through intrinsic motivation. They also provide helpful tips for teachers to accomplish this in the classroom.  Furthermore, the more practice and joy students have with reading practice, the better they get. In this article, we will cover some ways to support students in the classroom and at home.

How can we intrinsically motivate students to read in the classroom and at home?

  • Offer Choice
  • Book Clubs
  • Teacher Check-Ins/Creating Personal Goals
  • Art
  • Book Reports 
  • Field Trips
  • Reader’s Theater 
  • Reading Challenges 
  • Cozy Reading Nook 
  • Technology that Supports Successful Reading

Offer Choice:

One way to spark an intrinsic motivation to read is to give students a choice. Allow them to choose what they would like to read. If there are reading requirements students need to meet in the classroom, offer a list of books that you have developed for students to choose from. Allowing students to have multiple genres of reading material is a great way to provide choice, as well. For example, magazines, digital articles, cookbooks, graphic novels, and so on. Many students may prefer to read online. A great resource to use in the classroom is https://www.getepic.com/ It allows you to assign books and digitally track a student’s reading. You can also add quizzes for students to take after they finish reading a book.

Book Clubs:

Reading can be social for students! Many students thrive when they can interact socially with other students and even adults. Offering book clubs at school is another way to get students excited about reading. Book clubs can be a great way to deepen students’ writing and reading skills.

  • Book Club Activities (Student-led and Teacher-led):
  • Discussion questions
  • Author Study
  • Compare and Contrast 
  • Read Aloud
  • Character Traits 
  • Dress up as your favorite character (Discuss traits, character development)
  • PotLuck (Everyone brings food from the book) 
  • Book Project (Art, game, report, poetry, written summary, etc.) 
  • Technology-supported reading apps that support students during independent reading

Teacher Check-Ins/Creating Personal Goals:

Checking in individually and frequently with students on their reading goals provides accountability for students. Teachers helping students set short and achievable reading goals for students allows them to have a sense of accomplishment and provides positive interactions with reading. These frequent check-ins can allow teachers to help find reading material for their students and find ways to motivate their students positively. Parents can even check in with students and help them set reading goals at home.


There are so many fun art projects that go with different books students are reading. Allowing students to have artistic opportunities to go with the books they are reading provides another opportunity for intrinsic motivation to take place.

Some ideas include:

  • Collage
  • Watercolor
  • Painting
  • Drawing the setting of their favorite chapter
  • Drawing the character and including character traits
  • Creating a map of the story
  • Designing a pamphlet to describe the book

Book Report:

Book Reports can not only motivate students but support students in meeting the ELA standards. There are many different ways students can report on the books they are reading. This is a great way for students to practice speaking in front of a group and finding areas where they can shine. Book reports can provide another opportunity for students to have choices.

Book Report Ideas:

  • Slide show presentation
  • Performing a dance or song
  • Acting out their favorite part
  • Creating a poster board
  • Making a video
  • Short essay

Field Trips:

If possible, there are many opportunities to take field trips that will align with the books you are reading in class with your students. There are many places for parents to take their children as well. An article from scholastic Bring Books to Life offers ideas for reading field trips. It is also a great idea to research books and look for possible field trips in your area. This allows students to make real-life connections to what they are reading.

Reader’s Theater:

Reader’s Theater is a fun way to get your students acting and excited about the characters in books. Students are given a part and then read for their character. This would be great to do in a book club or small group in the classroom. You can extend the fun by giving students opportunities to dress up as the character or even perform the Reader’s Theater for others. Reader’s Theater Resources:

Reading Challenges:

Some students are on the more competitive side and may like a challenge. Many libraries offer reading challenges. Some schools have different challenges students can choose to participate in, as well. Some students find these challenges to be stressful, so it is important to keep in mind that not all students are motivated by reading challenges. If used in the classroom, making it optional is a great way to meet the needs of all students.

Cozy Reading Nook:

Providing students with a cozy, comfortable place to read is another way to get excited about reading. Students enjoy having a fun place to read and even get excited about reading in the classroom or at home.

Here are some cozy reading nook ideas:

  • Bean bag chairs, cushions, pillows
  • Soft rug
  • Audiobooks 
  • Providing quiet time in the classroom every day 
  • Variety of books
  • Tent or Teepee
  • Providing a reading app support for independent reading

Overall, getting students excited about reading can be challenging in the classroom and at home. Finding ways to spark the excitement and hook students allows them to discover a love for reading intrinsically.

Technology that Supports Successful Reading – Readability

Readability offers a personalized reading program utilizing the most advanced technology and a research-based approach to help students learn to read independently and advance their reading skills. It is the perfect partner to support students in getting excited about reading.

  • Teachers and parents report that students actively participate and get excited about using the Readability program.
  • In our case study, 22 students read an average of 60 books per day (Note: 5 students did not participate fully in using the Readability program).
  • Readability provides a complete library to students within the app providing equity and access.
  • English Learners who used the app gained*:

20.5 WCPM compared to those who didn’t use the app, whose average was 15 WCPM

Students using the app improved by 4 points on comprehension, while students who did not use the app showed no growth, and instead, their scores went down an average of 5.75 points

*See the case study for more information.

See our most recent Case Study of how a 3rd-Grade teacher used Readability with her students to increase WCPM.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about how Readability can partner with your school!

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Email: support@readabilitytutor.com
Phone: 888-850-3997