Reading provides children with countless benefits across their intellectual and personal development. During the school year, they’re surrounding by reading tasks and opportunities keeping their abilities sharp. Unfortunately, it’s tough to maintain the same momentum during school breaks. Incentivizing reading during time-off helps keep up the excitement and reinforce good reading habits. Below are some ideas for educators to keep kids’ nose in the books, even when they’re not in the classroom.
YouTube Book Trailers
Of course you’ve heard of movie trailers, but did you know that YouTube is now home to thousands of kid-friendly book trailers? Prior to any break, review trailers with the class. Similar to movie trailers, book trailers build anticipation and will engage students with the story plots. Offer extra credit for those who read the books over the break and ask them if the trailer was accurate. If they were to make their own, which parts would they include?
Super Readers Club
Have a list of books ready for students to read during break. Upon their return, students prove they’ve read the books through either short written summaries or brief presentations. If they read the amount determined, they are granted access to the Super Readers Club. This isn’t just any club—it comes with a special t-shirt so members wear their accomplishment proudly. T-shirts can be given out during an assembly, or another school event to both encourage reading among the other students and reward those that completed the task.
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The Game Show
Prior to break, transform classroom subject matter into a game show. Split the class into two or more teams. Write questions on index cards and provide a buzzer for each team—or they can simply raise their hand when required. Keep score and have the winning team earn a simple, yet desirable prize. A few extra minutes of recess? The power to choose a class activity?
Now choose a book or two for students to read over the break. Let them know the same game will be played, except questions will be focused on the book. The excitement from having played the game the first time will drive them to read closely during their break. Students will return ready and eager to win big.
Classroom Lending Library
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to encourage reading throughout the year is through easy access to books. Create a library right in the classroom featuring books donated by students, families and other members of the community. Make the students responsible and accountable for taking care of their library and all of its contents. Whenever a student donates a book, they can announce and recommend it to the rest of the class. Encourage students to take a book from this in-class library prior to any break.