I'm not technically a teacher. But my friend is and we just got off the phone. She teaches 4th grade and too few of her students have a passion for reading. Ideally, all of her students should really love to read. Her standard approach is for all the students to read the same book at the same time. Then they can have enjoyable and insightful discussions with each other about the book. Of course the students are encouraged to read any additional books that they are interested in. My issue with her approach is that some of the books that she chooses for the class to read aren't necessarily books that I personally would have truly enjoyed reading in the 4th grade... or any grade. A student reading a book that they dislike, or only moderately like, has a very high opportunity cost. It uses up time that they could have used to read a book that they super loved. Plus, reading becomes more of a chore than a pleasure. Students should thoroughly understand that reading doesn't always have to be work! If I was technically a teacher then my approach would be to introduce the students to the widest possible variety of the very best books. What's a good analogy? I never know. All I can ever think of is bad analogies. If you go fishing and want to catch the widest variety of fish, then you have to cast a really wide net or use the widest variety of bait. The problem with this approach is that it could be very expensive. Assuming of course that the library didn't already have the widest possible variety of the very best books. So I wondered about the possibility of simply providing the students with photocopies of the first few pages of the best books. I'm guessing that there would still be copyright issues. But the copyright issues definitely aren't worth discussing if the idea has absolutely no merit!!! Have any of you ever tried this approach or even thought about it? Let's take The Little Prince for example. I think only one student in my friend's class has read it. What would be the optimal number of pages to copy? Only copying the first page doesn't seem like it would be an adequate "sample"... right? Copying the entire first chapter seems a bit much though. Although, in this case the first chapter is pretty short. Whatever the optimal sample size, I don't think it would be necessary to provide every student with a sample. Perhaps one sample for every 5 students would be enough. Then they could simply trade samples of different books. There would also be the possibility of digitizing the samples and uploading them to Google Classroom. Wine tasting comes to mind... but as usual I suppose it's not the best analogy. Heh. I suppose sampling ice creams would be a better analogy. Maybe kids won't enjoy sampling books as much as they enjoy sampling ice creams. But, it sure seems theoretically possible that, if a student samples enough books that they'll find one that tastes like more. For those of you who didn't read my previous thread, I'm very intrigued with the idea of grading posts. So if you (un)consciously graded this post then don't hold back!