I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you want to improve your vocabulary, expose yourself to varied syntax, and hear different voices and perspectives and tones, and feel different moods, GET TO READING!
Anything at first, whether it be a magazine, a comic book, a novel, a contemporary text, a canonical text – fiction or nonfiction, does not matter – as long as you read something. That’s the first step; keeping it going is the next step.
It should be simple: cut an hour of television or video game time out – I know, a crazy concept that for some is harder than kicking smoking rock. And it’ll make your studying for the SATs that much easier too because you’ll have a context for the words your learning as opposed to memorizing “hot” lists of words you won’t remember anyway. You know, because memorization is the LOWEST form of understanding (knowing without meaning or even the means to apply).
If you were in my classroom, I would say go over to the bookshelf that’s regularly stocked with new and old texts that reflect diverse student interests. My aim in maintaining such a representative bookshelf is I want my students to develop the love for reading and learning that I discovered far too late. I didn’t have a teacher who inspired this in me, but I wish I did.
Anyway, since we’re not in my classroom, here’s a place to start: What’s Andrew Reading? From YA, to thrillers, to nonfiction, to some oldies, there’s something for everyone there. I just finished The Hate U Give, which I would recommend to ALL who want a fresh, authentic, eye-opening perspective.
But, seriously, GET TO READING.