Ideas for Summer Reading

7:04 PM

The end of the year is quickly approaching and with it comes the idea of summer reading. We all know that research has shown that students that don't read or read very little during the summer months can lose up to three months of progress and that it can have a lasting effect. Summer reading is important for students. In my opinion, it is even more important this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the start of the next school year, we will have students that have spent months learning at home diligently, students that did some work, and others that did not. Lack of reading during the summer months could widen the gap even further. While we know that teachers will meet every student where they are and help them, I still believe that it is important to encourage our students to spend time reading every day during the summer months. But, how can we do this without having it seem like a chore that has to be done? I think the answer is simple. Give the students a choice in what they read. 

There are many different ways that summer reading can be structured. Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Book Clubs - Teachers in a grade level (or multiple grade levels) pick a book title. The list of titles is shared with students. Students choose one of those titles, in addition to other books, to read during the summer. When school starts each teacher meets with the students that picked their book for a discussion.  
Students love getting together to talk about books! We keep the teacher names off of the list so that students choose the book based on interest and not the teacher. 

Reading Scratch Off Challenge - This takes a little bit of time and creativity. Create a scratch-off style ticket. Put a genre or reading activity on each of the sections to be scratched. Include plenty of free reading spaces, too, because kids like a choice. Cover the spaces with clear contact paper. Then use a mixture of silver paint and dishwashing liquid to paint over the spaces. When the paint dries it can be scratched off! Students pick a space, scratch it off, and complete the reading activity. 

Listening Club - Summer often means travel. Travel to a vacation spot, driving to the beach, or even back and forth to camp programs. Turn that time in the car into a Listening Club by choosing an audiobook. Listening to a story is a great way for kids and grown-ups to get lost in a book. It also can encourage great discussions! 

BINGO Boards - There are a lot of summer reading BINGO options available. But, what if I told you that my favorite BINGO board wasn't just for summer reading? I think reading is important, but I also think math is important. Something else is equally important - time with family! So, I set out to create a summer resource that would encourage reading, math, and fun activities that could be done with family and/or friends. 

Students move the digital markers as they finish activities trying to earn a BINGO. Students could also be challenged to cover the whole board. Check out these BINGO boards

Each of these ideas can be implemented easily. Then when school starts again celebrate the students that completed their summer reading. It could be as simple as standing up at a school assembly or being entered into a raffle for a prize.  

by Stress-Free Teaching

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