In many instances, students cringe when the words “reading” and “school” are said concurrently. Fear immediately arises in most children at the sound of their teacher’s announcement that they will be reading a book in class.
There are two main reasons why children dread a reading assignment: knowing that they must answer boring questions and knowing it might be a possibility that they will read aloud. Many teachers give their classes questions over the reading in order to be confident that the students comprehend. John Holt, an English teacher, would ask similar questions to his students; he would assign “questions designed to bring out the points that decided they should know.
Yes, if the students understand the material they read, they should be able to answer the questions; however, to the students this is frustrating. Corresponding with Holt’s students, other children like to know exactly what is being asked of them by their teacher and will try to get hints from their teacher. This becomes an annoyance as much as for the children as the teacher. In addition, vocabulary and quizzes are given.
This also hinders the joy of reading. One child was assigned a dull, elaborately written book, and if that was not bad enough, the teacher wanted the students to the definitions and the origins of every large word. Under those conditions, how can a child appreciate and enjoy a book? It is not necessary to look up every word in a dictionary or ask question periodically for a child to grasp and enjoy what they read. Children should learn how to retain what they read and more importantly find a hunger for more. If the hoard of questions and vocabulary drive the child away from reading, they are not doing their purpose.