Short Texts: Increasing Eyes on Print

It’s a fact. The more we read, the better we get at reading. The more we increase the amount of time students’ eyes are on print, the better chance we have at impacting their reading muscles. If you want a quick strategy for increasing eyes on print while also piquing students’ interests, grab a short text!


  1. Grab a short text such as You Gotta Be Kidding! The Crazy Book of “Would You Rather” Questions.

  2. Read a few “Would You Rather” questions to the students, asking them to share out their preferences with the whole class or in small groups. NOTE: If your students are new to sharing out, model how this looks, sounds and feels before having them give it a go.

  3. To pique students’ interests, read the ditty on each page that gives readers a little more insight or information about the questions posed.

  4. Invite students to read more short pieces from this text during small group or independent reading time.


During a quick, short text read aloud, I shared You Gotta Be Kidding! The Crazy Book of “Would You Rather” Questions with 3rd graders. Kiddos were wrestling with the question:

Would you rather have a third eye in the middle of your forehead OR have three arms?

In small groups, kiddos worked on two things while sharing their preferences.

  1. Quickly sharing their response with group members, including their reason(s) for their choice.

  2. Actively listening, including showing respect for differing opinions.

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After our share time, I read the ditty at the bottom of the page which talked about a reptile called a tuatara (which resembles a lizard and snake put together) that has a third eye on its head. A few 3rd graders said they’d like to learn more about this reptile. This is exciting because this short text might lead to some students reading more about reptiles—increasing eyes on print AND adding new and exciting knowledge for students to carry forward.