Help your students see reading not as just another school subject, but as a valuable -- and enjoyable -- part of their daily lives.
Where in the World?
Give each student a U.S. or world map. (Depending on grade level.) Each time a student reads a book that relates in some way to a state or country, have the student color that state or country on the map. The relationship might be based on the following: (1) the author was born there; (2) the setting of the book is there; (3) the story began there; (4) the book tells about that state or country. Present an inexpensive atlas to students who color every state or country during the year.
Hats Off to Readers
Provide each student with a white painter's cap with his or her name printed on the brim. Tell students they can wear their hats while reading in class. As they read books (at home or at school) throughout the year, write the titles of those books on their hats in permanent marker. The more books they read, the more titles on their hats! At the end of the year, give students fabric paint to decorate their hats and allow them to take home a permanent record of the books they've read and enjoyed.
Don't Watch TV. Read!
Help each student set up a daily TV/Reading Chart. Ask students to record how much time each day they spend reading and how much time they spend watching TV. Encourage students to work toward getting the chart's total reading time column to exceed the total TV-watching time column.
Read While You Watch TV.
Can't break students' TV habit? Try encouraging them to turn on the closed caption feature of their TVs and read along with the dialogue as they listen to their favorite shows.
Reward students for reading-related accomplishments, not with pizza or popcorn or candy or free time -- but with books! Tell them in that way that books should be prized and reading enjoyed.