To practice selecting reading material
To practice extensive reading
To practice summarizing and paraphrasing
To practice critical thinking skills
To create meaningful written output
High-Beginner through Low-Advanced
10-15 minutes placement test
15-20 minutes introducing students to Goodreads.com
Students’ own reading/writing times will vary
1. Administer a placement test if your students’ level for graded readers is unknown. Placement tests for a few major publishers are available on my online teaching resources page.
2. Introduce students to Goodreads.com. This is a website where people can rate books (using a 5-star rating system) and post book reviews. Students will use the site to select appropriate graded readers for themselves by reading other readers' reviews.
1. Ask your students to create their own accounts (free).
2. To begin searching for appropriate books, each student must know his or her reading level. As an example, if a student is a Penguin Level 5 reader, the student can type the following (including the quotation marks) to begin searching for books: “Penguin Readers” 5
3. Students can browse books and reviews and use the “want to read” button to add books to their own virtual “to-read” bookshelves within their accounts. This feature is only available when logged in. Additionally, you might encourage your students to become “friends” with their classmates on the site.
4. Assuming that the school’s library has a good selection of Penguin Readers readily available, give students two weeks to read the book. (The books are usually less than 100 pages long.)
- Note: It is useful for students to initially select a few books they might wish to read, due to availability. Also, if the instructor knows that the school has a limited selection, it may be prudent to create a list of available books for the class.
- Optional: The instructor may choose to have the students give in-class book presentations as an additional project.
5. Students can decide how many stars they will rate the book and then write a brief 150-300 word review to justify their rating. This requires students to think critically and write what they like or did not like about the book. Other criteria may include a very brief summary, or a description of a favorite character or scene.
6. Have your students submit their reviews to you for feedback. After you have approved the students' reviews, encourage (or require) them to post their completed reviews on the site.
7. Optionally, you could require your students to read at least two reviews from classmates and leave a comment on each.
Students may have privacy concerns. Pseudonyms can be used when they create their accounts.
Students may need additional support in writing their reviews. Providing model reviews may be useful.