How to Get Kids Reading Over the Summer
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Whether you have a strict summer reading list for students to follow before the next school year or you just want to encourage healthy habits, these tips will keep students engaged and learning over the holiday months.
Survey the room. Ask your class what kind of movies or books they're already interested in. See if you can pick up on any themes and then recommend books that fit into those themes. Maybe their favourite TV show is originally based on a book and you can give them a chance to explore the literary version of a story they already enjoy.
Suggest a schedule. While some students enjoy reading over the summer, many will wait until the last week of summer vacation to even look at their list. Try breaking the books down by month so that they're not bottle-necked come end of August.
Get geographical. Create a map of your city with nice indoor and outdoor places to read including libraries, parks, landmarks etc. and encourage your students to take a photo of themselves reading in as many locations as possible. Share these photos among the class at the beginning of the next school year as a fun travel journal project.
Be clear. Are these book suggestions mandatory reading or just some ideas to keep sharp over the summer months? Clearly communicate the expectation with your students and their parents so everyone is on the same page. It can be embarassing for a student to show up on the first day of a new school year and realize they are the only ones who haven’t completed the reading because they didn’t understand what was expected.
Be their guide. Show students where they can buy/borrow the books on your list. Not every parent will want to spend money on non-required reading. Teach them about the library options in your city and even show them how to download the audio book versions if that is more up their ally.