Goodreads in the Classroom

I belong to a book club and at the end of each meeting we sit around and search for the book for the next month. People bring suggestions, we check recommended lists, and invariably someone opens their phone and searches Goodreads. 

This great, free resource can be effective for the classroom too! After signing up for a free account, students select genres they are interested in. set a goal number of books they would like to read, and rate past books they have read.After rating 20 books, the reader will receive recommendations. (Recommendation: Use first name and middle initial as their last name to maintain privacy).

There are categories for Children’s books and Young Adult novels. Clicking those two genres, appropriate books within the categories will be shown so students can rate their past experiences and the software can recommend books based on their interests. This is super simple using their star rating system.

Please note, Goodreads is not designed for use in the classroom. It is, however, possible to create a classroom group within the site where your students can talk about their current reading. The real-life format is engaging for students, but must be carefully monitored and structured. Use the create private groups function and monitor the discussion in the groups.

At the very least, Goodreads is an easy record-keeping solution. Students can track their reading and add books they would like to read to their shelf. They can also keep track of their current page number. (No more….I can’t remember where I was….I lost my bookmark).

Group members can have private discussions which only class members can see and join. Monitors (teachers) can pose questions to get discussions going.

The lists are a good resource for teachers–including lists such as “Best Chapter Books to Read Aloud.”

There are some interesting possibilities for classroom use found in the community tab of the webpage. One of them is a quote page which provides popular quotes based on keywords or authors. There is an “ask the author” section where followed authors answer questions posed by Goodreads readers. Some books have trivia questions. There are also quizzes and creative writing prompts on some titles.

Goodreads provides authentic writing opportunities for students.

Check out the Goodreads site and see what it has to offer your students.


Looking for resources to enhance your independent reading program? Look no further. Check out these resources from Reading Specialty.

Engage your students and keep them accountable for their independent reading with 52 task cards. Cards are color-coded depending on the topic and students can track the categories as they write using the included progress chart. Students address the areas of setting, characters, and plot elements. A scoring guide for journal entries is included.

Click here to be directed to the task cards.

his kit has all you need to establish an effective and successful independent reading program. Included in the tool kit:

*recordkeeping spreadsheet
*teacher tips
*conferencing notebook cover
*instructions for conferencing notebook
*suggested sources for adolescent list
*conferencing topics
*reading conference log
*words per minute (instructions for students to easily compute WPM)
*sample and instructions for oral reading during conferencing

Establish a complete independent reading program that works–even In a secondary setting. 

Click here to be redirected to the independent reading resource.