Please welcome mom and literacy expert, Nadine Cruz-Saubert, with great reading activities ideas for summer learning.
Getting Kids Reading During the Summer
As a mother of 3 very different children, I wanted to come up with an inexpensive way extend our reading experiences this summer. I didn’t want to just send my kids to their bedroom to read. With the abundance of resources available on the web and the books I have collected throughout the years, I compiled a laundry list of activities we can do after reading experiences.
Reading Extension Activities
- You have the opportunity to interview the author of your book. What will you ask? Share your questions and your reason for asking them.
- I will draw a “squiggle” and you complete a picture in relation to your book. Share your “vision” in words on the back of the page.
- Persuade an audience to read your book.
- Re-create the cover of the book. Be sure to include the author and title.
- This book will be made into a movie. Who will play the characters? Why did you choose them? Where will the filming take place?
- Make a collage all about your book. Use any materials you’d like!
- Draw a Venn diagram between 2 characters in the book.
- Draw a Venn diagram between YOU and the main character.
- What did you “learn” from the book? (can include factual information, something you learned about yourself, something you learned about life in general…. Etc.)
- Pick out vocabulary words and character names’ to make a word search on the computer. (Be sure to discuss words first, check spelling…). Your puzzle will be taped in your journal.
- Make a Book Jacket for your book. (design the cover, spine, inside flap will describe main characters, other flap will include main problem or setting, back page will contain the summary). If you need to, look at other book jackets for inspiration.
- Make a timeline of the events that took place.
- You can spend a day with a character of the book! Who, What, Where, Why??
- Write yourself into the story! Explain.
- Create a postcard that illustrates a setting of the book. Write a note to a friend on the back of your “postcard.”
- Illustrate your favorite part of the story. Explain your illustration on the back.
- If the book is non-fiction, explain why you chose this book. What sparked your interest about this topic? Would you like to read another book on this same topic? What else would you like to learn about this particular topic?
- Create a “diary” for one of the characters in your book. Include at least 3 separate diary entries. The entries should include thoughts, feelings, and actions surrounding the events which took place in the book.
- Make a 6-slide comic related to your book. Each frame should include a sentence or two. (think of a sheet of paper folded in half the long way and then into thirds). Each box is a comic frame.
- Make a memory box. Include items that relate to the story. Give a brief description of each item that was included.
- Create a mural. Use the entire page. Mural should include several scenes from the book.
- Create an “alphabet book” complete with illustrations for each page. Basically turn your book into a “picture book.” If interested we can get the completed project laminated!
- Reader’s Choice! What can YOU come up with to show me you comprehended your reading?
I call them “reading experiences” because the journals have taken on a form of their own. My 5 year-old’s journal consists of mostly illustrations relating to picture books we read together. He writes the title on each page—not bad for a child that hasn’t started kindergarten yet.
Along with completing an activity every time they finish a book, the kids have asked to “do a journal” after we attend an event at a library event or after we do a family read-aloud. In doing this, the kids get to utilize and build different comprehension skills such as: interpretation, visualization, making inferences (drawing their own conclusions), and synthesizing (connecting newly learned info. to prior knowledge).
My next “vision” has to do with poetry. I want to read poetry to them and have them illustrate their interpretation of it into their journals. I am thinking of using Vile Verses by Roald Dahl and the works of Shel Silverstein.
What ideas have worked with your children as far as extending the literacy experience? How do you incorporate mixed-age children into your literacy activities at home?
FYI. You can do more than one activity for each book. For example, do a Venn diagram and a timeline on one page!
Picture Books: The Best Part
Pictures books lend themselves various reading extension activities for the older kids as well! So far my favorite this summer has been reading the book The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald.
After we read the book together, we had a discussion on what each child considered to be “their best part.” The next day we took pictures of their parts and they wrote why they chose that particular part about themselves. Then we put it all together on a page. Each child had something different to share about themselves and it’s great for them to share something personal that they value about their bodies. My 5 year-old is not writing sentences per say but he had a lot to share and I wrote his words verbatim for his page.
My name is Nadine Cruz-Saubert from DeKalb IL. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Northern Illinois University with a personal, vested interest in all things Literacy. I am currently a SAHM of 3 children ages 11, 9, and 5. When we are not at the pool we spend our summer days involved in summer literacy activities.
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