Learning Spaces

How to Set Up a Reading Corner in a Classroom

Key Takeaways:
  • Use bookshelves or room dividers to separate the reading corner from the rest of your classroom.
  • A variety of lounge seating options lets every student fully relax while they enjoy their books.
  • Rugs and decorations can give your reading nook a cohesive, inspiring theme.

Classroom reading corners are a great way to encourage kids to read more and can help tie reading with other positives like friendship and comfort to spark a lifelong love of literature. Creating a space that kids and teens will find inviting can be accomplished with just a few changes to any corner of your classroom.

The first step to setting up a new reading corner is to decide where you would like the area to begin and end. Corners are best, but in larger rooms any wall space or even an open area can be used as a reading nook. Using curved bookshelves, small areas can be separated from the rest of the classroom and students can grab a book on their way into the reading nook. Patterned room dividers are a more stylish way to define a reading corner while other portable partitions can add color to the space, reduce noise and even function as a book display.

Once the reading corner has been established as a separate space, you’ll want to fill it with books and furniture. Adding a sloped bookcase provides compact book storage in a way that allows students to see all of their options. Taller, more colorful bookcases are great for older students who read longer books at a faster pace than their younger peers. For students who have special needs or who simply want a new way to engage with reading, listening centers are an excellent addition to the classroom library. Easily organize the equipment with a listening center storage cubby that conveniently fits on most bookshelves.

Next to or between bookcases is the ideal spot to put wide, comfortable seating such as a lounge couch with arm tablets for books and notebooks. Book storage and seating can even be combined with convenient padded reading benches. Make sure to include a variety of seating options, both to increase the capacity of your classroom reading nook and to support different student preferences. Foam seating sets are a favorite of flexible classrooms that can be used in and out of reading corners. Plush beanbag chairs are comfortable classics that are affordable and easy to clean. For active students, a soft rocking chair or a rocking floor cushion is the perfect seating solution. Floor seating in general is a popular choice for students and doesn’t take up much room.

Adding a classroom rug to the reading corner can make the space seem even more cozy and encourage students to lay, lean and relax while they read. Rugs can also help set a theme for a reading corner. Rugs that depict dinosaurs, oceanic creatures or the layout of our solar system are affordable ways to set a theme your students will enjoy. Combined with a beautiful canopy reading haven and basic decorations like twirled construction paper or shiny hanging shapes, everything can come together to form an inspiring reading space.

Alternatively, you can update your classroom with a fully coordinated reading nook set or just pick a few pieces of reading corner furniture to add to your space. Either way, you can promote reading among your students by offering a relaxing area to pick up a book in. Including student flair on walls or shelves is a fantastic way to not only involve your students in decorating a space meant for them, but to also ask them to think about what they’ve read. Having students draw their favorite scene from a story or write a review for other students to read before choosing their next book helps them to better comprehend the text and express their own feelings towards it.

Reading is a wonderful passion to have, one that helps our imaginations grow no matter how old we are. Creating a quiet, cozy classroom reading corner gives kids a little world of wonder where they can gain joy from books that they will hopefully carry in their hearts for a long time.

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