In order to encourage summer reading, I make a summer reading plan and share it with my students. I then encourage them to do the same. My summer reading plan isn’t set in stone- I make a list of books I want to read over the summer. The list is usually very long and I start adding books during the winter, when I am overwhelmed by the number of titles I want to read. I may read all of the books on the list or I may only read a few over the few months that I am not in school. The idea is, it gives me a starting point for my reading so I don’t waste time staring at my all-too-overflowing shelves.
Sharing my summer reading plan also helps my students because it gives them ideas for their own lists. I fully admit that I am maybe too connected to the world of children’s lit (What? You can’t rattle off release dates from memory?). I know for a fact that I am more connected than many of my students. For many of them, they may have read a book or an author a few years ago and then lost track. At one time they knew they wanted to read the next book in the series or another book by that author, but then life got in the way. By sharing my plan, I hope to jog their memory so that they can add the newest Rick Riordan, or Ellen Hopkins, or Lois Lowry book to their own summer reading plans.
This year I think I will try sharing my summer reading plan digitally. I have a class Facebook page that many students in my school follow, plus a few alumni. Every week I post #fridayreads and students share what they are reading at that moment. I think that by sharing my summer reading plan on the Facebook page, I can conserve some of that hard-to-come-by teaching time during the last week of school while giving my students a way to access my summer reading plan all summer long. Plus, the comment feature on the Facebook page will allow the students to share their own plans, which is fabulous. Social reading is so important and I love when students get ideas from each other!
I’ve already started my summer reading plan for this year. I won’t share the entire(-ly too long) list here, but I will share a few books that I am really looking forward to reading:
The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E. B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic
Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement
A Dog’s Purpose
Imagine: How Creativity Works
The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places
The Map of My Dead Pilots: The Dangerous Game of Flying in Alaska
Finnikin of the Rock
Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard
Never Fall Down
What are you planning to read this summer? How are you encouraging your students to read over the summer?