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Avoid the Summer Slide With These Fun Summer Reading Ideas

By Meghan Everette on May 24, 2013
  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5

Summer slide is a major issue for teachers. We want a break as much as students do, but we also need kids to stay active academically over the summer so they come back ready to tackle the next level of learning. And you can prepare them for a summer of fun and adventure through learning when you equip them with engaging STEAM activities linked to the nine popular books in Flashlight Readers. Here’s a quick countdown to summer fun:




Countdown ThreeGet Ready!

Before your students leave for the summer, prepare materials they will need for a read-a-thon. Sign them up for Scholastic’s Summer Challenge so they can earn prizes by logging books and minutes read. Encourage kids to keep a journal during the summer and bring it back filled with goodies to show you. Hold book talks during which students share their favorite books from the year and encourage others to read them over the break. Make sure they know where they can access books: Libraries and bookstores often have summer readings, and Barnes and Noble, for example, offers free books when children bring in a completed reading log. And help them find access to protected Internet sources of online books and games.


Scholastic Summer Reading



Countdown TwoGet Set!

While you are packing your bags for summer, pack one more for the kids. Put together individual sacks containing all the things they will need to be active this summer. Include a Flashlight Readers door hanger, bookmark, and membership card. If your budget allows, purchase a gift book to include or even a small flashlight to complete the theme. A bag of popcorn or other small treat can inspire readers to get excited about the experience. Check with your public library to see if they are willing to donate materials for your bags, as well.


Membership Card   Bookmark   Doorhanger



Countdown OneGo!

Download this set of STEAM activities for each book. Upload the files somewhere students will be able to access them over the summer or print a set for each reading bag. Encourage readers to engage in the books and think up even more activities on their own. Have students bring back their work or pictures from the summer in the fall. Or if you have a tech savvy crew, create a blog so students can share their summer reading adventures.




Winn Dixie Flashlight

Summer STEAM Activities

Charlotte's Web Flashlight

Summer STEAM Activities

A Dog's Life Flashlight

Summer STEAM Activities

Holes Flashlight Reader

Summer STEAM Activities

Hoot Flashlight Reader

Summer STEAM Activities

Esperanza Rising Flashlight Reader

Summer STEAM Activities

Hugo Cabret Flashlight Reader

Summer STEAM Activities

Blue Balliett Flashlight Reader

Summer STEAM Activities

Inkheart Flashlight Reader

Summer STEAM Actiivites


The Underland Chronicles Flashlight Reader

Summer STEAM Activities



Getting students excited about staying academically active this summer is all about setting the right tone. It's not extra work, but summer fun where students can take an adventure through a book. A small gift and some encouragement is all it takes to have learners excited about the possibilities.


What do you do to encourage summer learning and nix the summer slide?

Comments (5)

It usually makes the body of my essay first and then go back to the start I already know what's in the body and can highlight it and find the common element that flows through my body.

Are there summer reading activities for grade 2? Would love to avoid the summer slump with my new students as well.

None of the Flashlight Readers on Scholastic are specifically that young, but it depends on your reader. Charlotte's Web and Winn Dixie might work well as read-with books if they have a willing parent or sibling. You might want to check out Storia too... it is an app from Scholastic that comes with 5 free books. Kids can highlight, circle, bookmark, watch little mini movies, etc. It is really engaging and you can get the level books that suit you. Think about Flat Stanley or Magic School Bus as well. To make these ideas, I just took the novel and thought of some kind of related science, math, art, engineering, and technology idea that kids could do at home. Pinterest can be your best friend for that kind of thing. Read, Write, Think, Thinkfinity.org, or the Student Activities link (see the top links on this page) are all great places for kids to "play" too.

One of the tools I use with my daughter is the PowerMyLearning platform.. she loves learning as she is playing the games, and I love being able to see her progress! http://powermylearning.com/summer

I do like that PowerMyLearning is free -- that's a great feature when you are dealing with kids at home. I'll check it out!

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