5 tips for choosing a great class reader
![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/7a61770f-f7b4-4023-986b-e4d2d931ec83/948358ab-9ec9-4d83-997a-5f30a42612925tipsforchoosingaclassreader.jpg "class readers") **Talitha McLachlan spent 7 years as a teacher of English in both primary and secondary schools. Here are her tips for choosing a great class reader. ** Whether you’ve decided to mix things up away from your go-to class reader, or you’re new to the profession, choosing a great class reader can be overwhelming. There are some things to consider when choosing a book from your shelf to share with the class. Before you land on one, think about these pointers first: ### Avoid well-known authors It’s incredibly important to engage young readers, but exposing pupils to new sets of vocabulary from authors they haven’t come across before will help to broaden their reading minds. It will also point those die-hard fans of one particular author in new directions. ### Look at the language This may seem obvious, but some books and authors lend themselves beautifully to the exploration of language, and others do not. Using books that have lengthier descriptions of settings and characters tend to be a lot easier to lift juicy uses of language from. Look for examples of similes, metaphors, personification, pathetic fallacy, etc that can be used as contextualised examples for pupils. ### Consider the length In an ideal world, pupils would read a wide range of authors, genres and lengths of books. But if you have a short half term where a full novel is going to be a struggle to get through, there are shorter books that are fantastic class readers. There are many picture books now that are aimed at older readers; they have more complex language and sentence structures that are fantastic for English/literacy lessons. ### Opportunities for cross-curricular A class-reader is a great chance to bring lots of elements of the curriculum together. If you already have a topic to work with, use bookshop websites to narrow down your search. As you pre-read a potential class reader, look for other cross-curricular opportunities. It’s often easy to find cross-curricular links with history, but challenge yourself to find links with science, maths and other subjects too. ### Think about your class If you’re picking a book for the start of a school year, try to find out as much about your class as you can and make sure to take that into account when choosing a book. The background, interests and ability of the children in your class will have an effect on the book you choose but also consider potentially triggering themes in stories. I went through a close bereavement at a very young age; a book along the same theme may have been extremely difficult for me to have studied around that time. On the other hand, some contentious pastoral themes running through books can be a fantastic opportunity to discuss with your class. You know your class; use what you know to benefit everyone. For shorter reading activities as well as dedicated opportunities for cross-curricular reading, our [Short Read Question Sets](http://www.lbq.org/search/english/reading?years=3,4,5,6/) lend themselves perfectly for guided reading sessions. You can use all of our Question Sets for free forever, or if you want to use our full platform with automated feedback and a live teacher report, you can access it for free for 60 days! [Register for a free Learning by Questions account today](http://www.lbq.org/register).