I always like to plan end-of-the-year activities for my library classes that encourage students to keep reading over the summer. As someone who always has stacks of books around the house, as well as a public library card, I take it for granted that time off from school just means MORE time to read. But I realize that for many of our students, the opposite is true.
Here are a few things I like to do:
Summer Reading BINGO, except I don’t play it as a bingo game. I give each student a copy of the grid showing all the reading possibilities along with some colored pencils. I put on some upbeat music and students move around the room collecting signatures from their classmates. Each student signs a square representing one type of summer reading he/she will participate in. Not only does this get kids planning for their reading, but it makes a nice memento with everyone’s autograph. I have also used this as a back-to-school icebreaker, where students sign a square that represents a type of reading they actually did over the summer. You can download the grid I use for free on Teachers Pay Teachers from Create Teach Share. (Also includes a Summer Reading Bucket List, which is cool for setting individual reading goals.)
I also like to create a Summer Reading Brochure tailored to my students as a way to share a lot of info in one place. I include a definition of “summer slide” and how to overcome it; information on summer reading programs hosted by the public library, the local bookstore, and online sites; and summer reading lists including our state book award nominees for the upcoming year. Since many kids now have some type of device capable of accessing the internet, I also include URLs for websites with free ebooks. I include our school library collection, and a link to DISCUS Kids, which includes a free subscription to Tumblebooks for residents of South Carolina courtesy of our State Library. (Your state library may offer something similar.)
And finally I entice them with the promise of our annual Summer Reading Celebration, an ice cream sundae party for students who turn in a reading log (signed by a parent) of books they enjoyed during the break or a certificate of completion from an official summer reading program.
How do you get students excited about reading over the summer? Leave a comment and share!