I had good intentions, but I let them down. I set them up for failure. I was deflated. But, that was five years ago. I didn’t give up, and neither should you. It took two pilot studies, lots and lots of researching, and collaboration; nonetheless, in the end, I have a summer reading philosophy that not only works, but one that makes me proud. I hope to save you time and energy by sharing exactly what works for me (hint: choice reading is the key!). Plus, I’ll share one of my editable summer reading assignments to help you get started, so keep reading.
1) Explain your objective to the students in a positive light.
- The objective of this assignment is to encourage you to make summer learning gains.
- The objective of this assignment is to inspire you to find something you love to read.
- The objective of this assignment is to motivate you to enjoy reading.
- The objective of this assignment is to help you get ready for class next year.
2) Give them choice!
3) Collaborate to make an awesome book list.
4) Align your assessment to your objective (and be savvy).
- Sticky note scavenger hunt–Give them literary items (mood, tone, irony, author’s purpose, etc.) that they have to find and mark with a sticky note. This is easy to assess through conferencing when the students come back to school.
- Creative thinking project–Check out the details here.
- Journaling–Ask them to journal about their reading. Give them length and page requirements and topic suggestions and tell them to have at it.
- Discussion boards–This is the one I’m doing this year, and I’m excited about it! Essentially, the students will log in to our LMS (Learning Management System) over summer break to participate in asynchronous discussions about their books. You can read all of the details of this assignment by downloading my Summer Reading Assignment Example and Book List below.
5) Send reminders and due dates over the summer months.
6) Create a backup plan.