How I Do It: Encourage Summer Reading
Teachers share the clever and creative ways they
motivate kids to read over the summer.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
Our school has a summer reading program, and our local library partners with us. Students get rewards from the library all summer long by keeping a log, and when school starts, kids who bring back a log get an ice cream party.
50+ Reading Activities!
Create a calendar with fun activities for students to complete while reading (examples: make a tent and read under it, read to a pet, read to the oldest or youngest person you know). If you can think of fun things to do, kids will be more apt to read.
Join the Club
I’ve done book clubs over the summer. We meet twice at parents’ homes. The parents usually read the book, too, and we have great conversations!
Get Them Hooked
Read the first book of an engaging series as your last read-aloud of the school year. The students will be motivated to find out what happens next. Bunnicula is one of my favorites for third grade.
A Book of One’s Own
My school gave every student books to take home to read over the summer. We got teachers, parents, and the community—anyone who would donate—to bring in new or gently used books, or money to buy books. Then, just before school ended, each student got to pick out several books from a bag presorted by reading ability.
Date with the Teacher
I send a summer reading and math packet home. Students who complete it and bring it back in the fall get to go on a “date” with me. We have brunch and then go to a children’s museum.
I suggest that they choose books that are also available as audiobooks. If they follow the text while listening, they hear what good reading sounds like and they reap the benefits—they comprehend the story, understand the characters, and really get hooked. I did this with students a few years ago and they became better readers. And their parents loved it!
Technology. Encourage students to discuss and write about connections or any new learning via blogs or a classroom website. Kids are motivated when learning is purposeful and when it incorporates things that they like.
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