Tackle the Summer Reading List Together - National Council of Teachers of English
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a young girl reads with a young boy outside

Tackle the Summer Reading List Together

Summer reading is an important component of an overall reading program. Research shows that summer vacation often has a significant negative effect on student learning. Providing opportunities for students to read regularly during the summer can prevent documented reading achievement losses. The bottom line is that students who read during the summer do better in the fall. So why not tackle the summer reading list and have fun doing it?

  • Go over the summer reading list and help the child select what books to read. Using a calendar, map out a reading schedule so that the child is reading throughout the summer, instead of cramming in all the books at summer’s end. Keep the schedule lively by alternating different types of books. Have the child write the schedule in the calendar.
  • If a school reading list is not provided, work together to create one!
  • Set a regular reading time, for example, after breakfast, following lunch, or before bed. Join in and read during this time, too.
  • Encourage the child to read during “empty” times, such as when traveling, lying around at the pool, or between activities. Audio books are good options if taking a long car trip. The entire family will enjoy one of the books.
  • Download ebooks onto your devices so the child can read on the go!
  • Get an extra copy of some of the books and read it with the child. Read it at the same pace and share your thoughts or ask the child questions as you go. A lively discussion will help the child remember the books later on.
  • Many classic and popular books have been made into movies. After the child has finished reading a book, watch the movie together. Discuss the differences between the two: What worked and what didn’t work in the movie, what elements got cut and what scenes got added, whether the movie stayed true to the book, and what the differences in dialogue were.
  • Have the child keep a reading response journal where he or she writes about the books. Share some prompts or invite the child to freewrite or draw.

How will you tackle the summer reading list?