No more bookish projects, please!

Nabanita Deshmukh

“Our children don’t read and they find books boring!” is a common complaint of parents and teachers alike. More so in teachers’ meetings, the question on why children do not read and how to make them read has been debated over and over again. A school that I know of is no exception; only this time a motivated and dynamic group of teachers decided to take the bull by its horns and tackle the deteriorating reading habits of their students.

the-magic-waterhole Questionnaire and percentages
The first task was to design a questionnaire with the help of students to understand the reading habits of school children. This became an interesting activity that made students think about the questions they could ask their friends and also learn how to design a questionnaire. Eventually, the questionnaire was developed and it assumed an important form.

The students made multiple copies of the questionnaire and distributed them to their classmates and students of other sections. A week was allotted for filling up the questionnaire and the completed forms were collected over the weekend.

A little bit of math helped the teachers analyze the questionnaire results. What emerged was of great importance to better understand the reading routines and habits of students. Below are some figures:

  • 70 percent of students preferred playing computer games or watching TV instead of reading books.
  • 30 percent of students rarely frequented the school library.
  • 75 percent of students rarely finished a book they borrowed from the library.
  • 20 percent of students gifted books to their friends on their birthdays. The rest bought other gift items like dresses, gadgets, perfumes, etc.
  • 80 percent of students said they would never buy books for themselves and preferred buying other gift items.

The author is a teacher and writer of children’s stories and rhymes. She conducts workshops for teachers and students on storytelling and interactive methods of teaching. She can be reached at deshmukh.nitu@gmail.com.

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