A Bucket List for Summer Reading

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Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/7a5NXg

Each year at this time, teachers begin asking me how they should approach summer reading. Should they assign specific texts? Provide a list for readers to choose from? Expect them to complete projects or write essays? Design a test to give during the first week of school? Summer is prime time for readers, and we don’t want to squander any opportunity to get students hooked on books, right? Right. A bucket list for summer reading may help.

I’d give this list to readers of all ages. I’d share it with their parents. I’d post it on my classroom blog, my school website, and on the wall in my classroom. This is the list I’d tuck into my end of the year report. It’s the one I’d share at parent teacher conferences too.

It’s not an assigned set of texts. It’s not a list of books that kids could choose from, either. It’s a bucket list that honors everything we know about providing kids choice, access, and time for reading. It’s also work in progress, and I have to wonder: what would you add? How can we make it better?

A Bucket List for Summer Readers

1. Resolve to read only the things you are truly interested in reading.

2. Read those things as often as you can.

3. Read in inspiring, cozy, and comfortable places.

4. Talk about what you’re reading with anyone who might listen.

5. Ask others what they’re reading, too.

6. Experiment: try a new genre, subscribe to a few new blogs, pick up a comic book, read a poem, go digital, or go back to paper for the summer.

7. Go listen to an author speak. Buy the book. Get it signed.

8. Research the authors you love online. Find their blogs. Follow them on Twitter. Keep up with them in real time.

9. Start keeping a reading wish list.

10. Share that list with those who might make your wishes come true.

Speaking of making wishes come true, how can we do a better job of making that happen inside of our schools and communities? We know that readers fall in love with reading when they have choice, time, and access to great reading material. This bucket list supports choice and summer provides time. How do we go about getting great print into the hands of our students, though?

Please, jump into the comments and share your ideas with me. Add to this bucket list, and share some insight about helping kids make their reading wishes come true. I’ll meet you there, and we can chat more.

When we’re done, I plan to make this into a poster that you can share with your students and their families.

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A former English teacher, Angela Stockman is the founder of the WNY Young Writer's Studio, a community of writers and teachers of writing in Buffalo, New York. She is also an education consultant with expertise in curriculum design, instructional coaching, and assessment. Read more from Angela at Angelastockman.com.

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