Effortless Reading: Magazines

Dr. Krashen’s Effortless Reading Hypothesis: we acquire literacy best when we read whatever feels easy (84).  Nothing feels easier than flipping through a soft-cover magazine with brilliant, colorful photos to find an article that speaks to you.  The visuals, short blurbs, call-out boxes, and high-interest topics feel exciting.  Inexpensive to replace, magazines are perfect to send home with students, and easy for students to gather around and share with friends.

Some of my favorite magazines:


Scholastic has all ability levels, all interests, and multiple languages.

Sports Illustrated Kids

The articles are a challenge for many, but I can recommend easier sports books around the articles.  How exciting are these photographs?



Boy’s Life

This subscription benefits Boy Scouts of America and is always engaging and squeaky clean.  American Girl is always a hit too.

National Geographic Kids

For science and nature enthusiasts.  This magazine is even successful with high school as the articles and illustrations feature more “grown-up” nonfiction.


My younger students have enjoyed the traditional Cricket literary magazines.  While Cicada is geared toward older students, the text is a little too challenging for my ELLs.  Instead, for older readers, I adore the Faces magazines, with easy works of literature and nonfiction from around the world.


Krashen, S. (2011). Free Voluntary Reading. Libraries Unlimited: Denver, CO.


Published by

Claire Walter

I am an ESL teacher and I promote differentiated, compassionate instruction and assessment for English Language Learners.

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