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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

calendarWhat 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.

Facilitating a Summer Reading Book Group Program
Summer book groups enhance and sustain student literacy behaviors over the break, making available an enjoyable social forum for critical-thinking and critical-reading practices to occur naturally. Read about one such group in this article from May 2007 English Journal.

Significantly, the book groups grant faculty and students an informal space to connect meaningfully through reflective discussion of texts.

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.



When Our Practices Become Habits
It's when we stop reflecting on our professional practices that they become habits. This Literacy in Learning Exchange perspecive provides inspiring and intreguing stories to reflect upon this summer.   


Professional Readings

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

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



Language ArtsBooks 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 Out of School Activities
Visit's Parent & Afterschool Resources. 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.

Notable Books
The Children's Literature Assembly has announced their notable books for this year.

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award 
Since 1990 NCTE has celebrated reading with this annual award for promoting and recognizing excellence in the writing of nonfiction titles for children.

Literacies for All Summer Institute
Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York    July 18-20, 2013
Join in "Authentic Literacy Events and Social Actions: Celebrating Relationships and Partnerships" in the wonderfully supportive forum that gathers each year under the whole language umbrella!


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