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Summer Reading and Learning - Previous Revision

What could be better for a student's literacy skills than a summer filled with reading of all kinds? As Cathy Beck et. al explain, "With the time pressures of a regular school year behind us and the new year not quite a reality, we can dust off the books that have waited patiently to give us pleasure and without guilt, immerse ourselves in one of life’s greatest pleasures—reading" (Books for Summer Reading, p. 321). Summer reading programs urge students to read during their summer vacations, developing and maintaining a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure. Further, such programs help students retain and sharpen literacy skills during the months that they are out of the classroom.

Teaching Strategies

What Happened Today?
The ReadWriteThink calendar is one rich source of summer learning opportunities. Information on the national spelling bee, the birthdays of poets Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni, the history of the dragon boat festival in China, all with accompanying activities and reading, are just a few of the resources.

English JournalSummer Program Assists At-Risk High School Students
A summer job with a high school literacy project for at-risk students helped Katherine Barr teach content reading and writing strategies, strategies that she intends to combine, next time, with reading and writing workshop.
From July 2001 English Journal.

Language ArtsBilingual Playwriting in a Summer School Program
A summer program presented the possibility of transforming Eurocentric curriculum into one centered on the familial, social, cultural, and linguistic cultures of students, in this article from May 2001 Language Arts.



Professional Readings

Bold Books for Teenagers
This article from the May 2007 issue of English Journal highlights literature for young adolescents.

Leaving No Reader Behind
This article from May 2007 Voices from the Middle discusses tips for reluctant adolescent readers.

Books for Summer Reading
This article from the April 1998 issue of Language Arts describes what fifth-grade students read in the summer and why and includes descriptions of forty books.

Related Resources

ReadWriteThink Summer Activities
Visit ReadWriteThink's Summer Activities: Learning Beyond the Classroom site. Children and teens can stay immersed in learning by reading and writing all summer long through engaging activities and fun online games and tools. Listen to podcasts of booktalks and watch video demonstrations of learning activities to make the most of summer reading and writing opportunities.

Read Together: Parents and Educators Working Together for Literacy
From the NCTE Reading Commission and available both as a position statement and as a poster with accompanying brochures. Provides valuable information for anyone who reads with young children, including book lists for different developmental reading levels.

2009 Orbis Pictus Award Winners 
Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka, illustrated by David Craig, leads the list of 2009 Orbis Pictus Award winning nonfiction titles.




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