If you read up on the importance of summer reading, it's clear how important it is that students keep reading through the summer months. Students actually lose instruction from the previous year if they don't read while they have time off from school. So of course I found myself wondering how to inspire my students to read during the summer when it was sometimes a struggle to get them to read in class.
I started by doing a book talk every day at the beginning of class where I read part of a book I thought they'd enjoy reading over the summer. My students have Goodreads accounts, so I showed them how their books often have audio and textual previews so they can see if they are interested before they get the book. For the books talks, I tried to find books that have fantastic hooks right from the start. Here are a few that really caught our attention:
The next hurdle I had to face was helping students to see how easy it is to access books during the summer. We ended up spending an entire class period in the library with our librarian and the following reading packet:
Next year, I might look into helping students form book clubs before school lets out- then they can share some of the accountability and add a social aspect to their reading. I also think an online community established in the classroom during the school year might be a good place for students to continue to read and share their reading throughout the summer. I would also like to see them taking and sharing "shelfies" showing all the books/places they read throughout the summer. This would create an authentic audience encouraging them to read AND write.
I would also like to keep them informed about summer reading programs going on in the community and upcoming library events. Maybe I could even collaborate with a local librarian to come up with something... Possibilities!!!