Earlier in March, Summit celebrated Read Across America Day where we joined an estimated 45 million educators, parents, and students nationwide in celebrations that got young people excited about reading, while paying homage to the beloved author Dr. Seuss. While we had a fun-filled day, part of the goal of Read Across America is to make reading a year-round activity.
With that in mind, we found five fun ways for parents and educators to keep the enthusiasm going!
1. Invite Students to Socialize Around Reading
Many students need to interact with each other around books. It greatly enhances their comprehension and makes the reading experience much more enjoyable.
So take a page from the many adults who are actively engaging in book clubs and online discussion forums like Goodreads.com and set up book clubs, reading groups, or literature circles in your class or children’s playgroup.
The format should be very similar to an adult book club, where small groups read the same book and discuss their thoughts on the plot and characters. You can add excitement to the proceedings by allowing each group to vote on what book they will read and make the meetings more festive by bringing snacks for the club participants to enjoy.
2. Play a Game of Musical Books
This is a fun variation of a classic game. Chairs are placed back-to-back in a straight line. Place a book under each chair. The children will then march around the chairs as music plays ala Musical Chairs. When the music stops, the children sit down and begin to read the book under their chair.
After a few minutes, a chair is removed and a chair the music starts again. After the game, put the books in a special box marked “Musical Books” so the students may read the full story. They will associate the books with the fun and excitement of playing the game.
3. Display the Love of Reading
Don’t just talk about reading, put it on full display by decorating the classroom (plus it’s a great way to add some flair between holidays). Each class will agree on a favorite book and students can decorate the classroom door as a giant book cover. The giant book-cover door will open to find the classroom decorated as a scene or setting from the book.
You can even designate a day for students to come to school dressed as characters from their chosen book and throw a class- or school-wide party to reward everyone’s hard work and enthusiasm for reading.
4. Bring in Guest Readers
Children are greatly impacted and excited to have guests in the classroom. Designate a time to bring in a guest reader for the class. This can be anyone from a parent or grandparent, the school principal, members of the community (such as a firefighter or librarian), or a local author – who may inadvertently inspire students to become authors themselves!
For added fun, have your guest reader dress up like a character from the book or add an air of mystery by keeping the guest reader a secret until their arrival.
5. Get Caught Reading
If you are going to encourage your students to read, then you better make sure you’re leading by example. Be sure that students see you reading. Instead of grading papers when students are silent reading, join in and read a book too.
Incorporate a brief discussion time after to discuss the book you are reading with them and share tidbits about your all-time favorite books and authors, read passages of stories, and inform them of where and when you like to read. This will make them feel more connected to you and to their love or reading.
Sources include EducationWorld.com, Edutopia.org, TeachHub.com