The school year is beginning to wrap up, which means that parents and teachers alike are starting to wonder how to get children motivated to read over vacation. We put in so much work on decoding, fluency, and comprehension during the school year that we want our students to retain as many skills as possible before they enter their new classroom in September.
One way to motivate students to read over the summer is to create a monthly reading calendar (see example image below). You can either create the calendar on your own or, even better in my opinion, have students create their own in June. Print out blank calendars for the months of July and August to give to each student. List ideas for students to write in each box that involves reading. Some examples are: read with a friend, camp out with a good book with a flashlight, reread a favorite book from this year. Don’t worry about putting something in every box, three to four events per week would be perfect. Students can decide when they will do each event and even come up with their own reading events to add to their calendars!
Another way to motivate students to read over the summer is to create a reading contract before the last day of school. A reading contract asks students to reflect on the type of reader they have become and the areas they still want to improve. Students can additionally write down a reading wish list in their contract with favorite titles from the year and authors they love reading. After completing the reading contract, students can sign it to make it official. You might want to offer an incentive for filling out the completed contract. It can be a new pencil in September or even a book club lunch with the teacher!
These are just two fun and engaging ways to get kids reading over those long summer months.