March is National Reading Month, kicked off by "Read Across America." Schools abound with reading opportunities. But what about those long summer months? Here are summer reading enrichmentactivities to keep kids' noses in books year-round! Included are interactive reading response activities, ELA (English language arts) lessons, book-based crafts and literature response lessons. Use these multi-sensory, cross-curricular Montessori-based lessons for Readers Workshop, special education students, reluctant readers and divergent learners too.
Entrepreneurial reading. Research, plan and organize summer money-making or nonprofit fundraising ventures: yard sale, babysitting, lawn and pet services, knitting and craft sales, housecleaning. Host a lemonade stand. Lemonade Day shows how.
Book-based crafts. Scholastic has free printable book crafts, games and literature response activities. Access Scholastic publishers' vast data base of children's literature. Get games, crafts and printables from favorite kids' books.
DIY summer reading camp. Have kids start their own summer reading club. Education.com has free printable reading activities. Utilize materials and your local library. Host book club activities in your backyard! Discuss favorite books, make crafts, play games, act out stories and enjoy book-themed snacks!
Book recipes. Make foods described in books. Look for companion cookbooks to favorite books: American Girls, Little House on the Prairie, Haunted America, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs have cookbooks with recipes from the stories. Invent recipes based on books. We made Winnie-the-Pooh "haycorn" (pecan) pie and honey cookies.
Readers theater or puppet show. Make book character puppets. Have kids retell story. Or let them write their own stories using homemade puppets. My kids wrote a puppet show using puppets from Mercer Mayer's "There's a Nightmare in my Closet", Mike Mulligan's steam shovel (from Virginia Lee Burton's book) and "Word Bird" (Jane Belk Moncure).
Reading response journal. Have kids track reading and complete activities. Check my blog Free Lesson Plans 4U and Free Printable Lesson Plans and Kidz Literature for tips to make literature response journals and activity suggestions. Here's a free printable reading calendar from PBS.
Rewards and incentives. Participate with Pizza Hut Book-It program. The first week of March is the "Let's all Read" program, partnered with One More Story. Kids read and get pizza, plus they donate to RIF by reading! Double good! Incent reading with books. Join Scholastic--get free books for ordering. Give as prizes for completed reading.