Linda Gambrell, former president of the International Reading Association

Recently, an article by Clemson professor Linda Gambrell in The Reading Teacher summarized seven key research-based tips for motivating students in reading.




Tips for Motivating Students:

  • Provide or assign pieces that relate to the students’ lives.  Have students write every day about how what they’ve read relates to their lives in a journal or reading diary.
  • Expose students to a wide variety of reading materials.  Guide students to what’s in the classroom library by doing things like holding weekly book talks with students so that they know what’s available to make them curious and interested in what’s available.
  • Provide regular blocks of time for sustained reading.  Start with ten minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes a day.
  • Assist students with “controlled choice” by choosing four or five books that are appropriate for a student and letting him or he choose from within those books.
  • Lead students to opportunities to socially interact with others about their reading.  Allow for things like a quick partner sharing about their books.
  • Provide opportunities for students to be successful with more challenging reading passages.
  • Rewards should include things that have to do with reading—reward them with books and make extra reading time as a reward—so that they see reading as something valuable.