Every trimester I like to poll my students about reading, whether it’s the types of books they like to read or about their reading experiences in general. Because so many of my freshmen told me at the beginning of the trimester that they dislike reading, I wanted to find out how they feel about reading after a trimester of SSR, book talks, reading suggestions, etc. I’ve learned quite a bit from these surveys, and I hope this is helpful for my readers as well! Is anything surprising or reassuring? Do you have any suggestions to help reduce the percentage of “Maybes” in number 7?
1. Before this year, did you consider yourself a reader?
2. If you didn’t enjoy reading before this year, please explain why. (I’m including some of their responses.)
“I never found the right books.” –Felicia (read more than 10 books)
“I’m a slow reader and I can’t find books that I like.” –Trista (read 4 books)
“I thought it was a waste of time.” –Heidi (read 8 books)
“Felt it was boring and pointless.” –Mackenzie (read 7 books)
“Too boring–I’d rather watch the movie.” –Kyle (read 2 books)
“Every time we had to read it was for a grade and forced.” –Jimmy (read 2 books)
“I was forced to.” -Christian (read 8 books)
3. What was your favorite book this trimester? Why?
“Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake because it kept me gripped to the story and I haven’t read a book like that in a while.” –Tom
“Bruiser by Neal Shusterman because it’s interesting and different.” –Ariana
“Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen because I didn’t want to put it down.” –Natalie
“I like the book Trapped by Michael Northrop because it’s suspenseful.” –Tito
“The Crank trilogy by Ellen Hopkins because Kristina’s life is interesting.” –Sierra
“I’m torn between The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.” –Michael
Some other favorites named: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott, Party by Tom Leveen, The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner, Scars by Cheryl Rainfield, Hold Still by Nina LaCour, Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Enclave by Ann Aguirre
4. What was your least favorite book this trimester? Why?
“The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk was good, but I’ve read a lot better ones this trimester.” –Jamal
“Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson because the ending was dumb.” –Mike (Quite a few of my boys said the same thing.)
“Grace by Elizabeth Scott because it was confusing.” –Jessica
17 of my students said they didn’t have a least favorite 🙂
5. How many books have you read this trimester?
1-3 books– 16 students
4-6 books– 12 students
7-10 books– 7 students
10+– 3 students
6. What type of book(s) do you enjoy reading the most? (Students were allowed to pick more than one.)
Realistic Fiction– 37%
Paranormal Fantasy– 20%
Historical Fiction– 5%
Science Fiction– 6%
Other– 6% (graphic novels, biographies, etc.)
7. Will you continue reading after this class, even if you have a different English 9 teacher?
8. What can teachers do to get their students interested in reading?
“Give them a lot of time to read in class.” –Tom
“Figure out what kind of books students like to read and suggest some to them.” –Katie
“Create more projects for students like creating a book trailer or novel soundtrack.” –Mia
“Show book trailers, have a class library, read to us, and have SSR.” –Natalie
“Talk about books they’ve read and give book talks.” –Heidi
“Use banned books!” –Mackenzie
“Don’t force us to read, just let us choose if we want to read or not. Get newer books and set reading goals.” –Madi
“Just don’t make their kids read, they will eventually read.” –Ellis
“Show book trailers, explain the book, give a book to a student to read that they know they might like.” –Michael
“Have a variety of books for both boys and girls.” –Thomas
“Don’t make us read, but encourage us. Let us choose to read and choose what we read.” –Jacob
“Have a book pass so we can sample books.” –Corey