"I hate reading!" and "I don't want to read!" Obviously these comments are not from an engaged reader. Regardless of a student's' reading level or ability, reading can be an engaging past time. The key is to prepare your readers. There are many strategies you can use.
Book/ Picture Walk- Through this activity, students become involved in the story by using picture clues. Students are encouraged to make predictions. You can encourage engagement by asking open ended questions. For example, "What do you think is happening in this picture?".
KWL Chart-This strategy is very effective when used with non-fiction text. What do they K (know) about the topic? What they W (want) to learn, and What they L (learned). By using this chart, students will discover information through their reading.
Book Talks- Getting kids "hooked" on reading is just a matter of time. You need to find the "right" book. Not all students enjoy fiction. Use a variety of books and summarize the books to encourage reading.
Student Recommendations- Utilize this feature on Big Universe and find out what other students are reading and enjoying! The "featured books" are also an excellent place to start as well as using the "similar" feature.
What other strategies have you used to engage your readers?