Engaging middle years’ students in reading: short stories, picture story books and peer discussion

Helen Woodford, Monash University: woodford.helen@hotmail.com

Our contemporary, text-saturated environment assumes the ability to engage effectively with a range of texts for education, work and rewarding participation in society. Yet, worryingly large numbers of adolescent students are showing reluctance to engage in sustained reading, and difficulty engaging meaningfully with sophisticated texts. Increasingly, traditional approaches to teaching reading in early secondary school are encountering challenges to engaging students in reading, and responding thoughtfully to reading. Using topical, short texts, short stories, picture story books and peer discussion can provide an alternative to engage young adolescent students in meaningful, pleasurable reading.

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