It’s been great fun this year watching my children grow as readers. My fourth grader started off the year reading well, but her reading ability has grown over the year. She’s also proud of herself: This was her first year in public school, and she was second in her class for their AR reading. My first grader began the year reading basic words and sight words, and he’s now reading independently. He’s enjoying discovering the world of books he can now read for himself.
Now that summer’s here, I want to keep them reading. I also want them to keep growing as readers and discovering different books. My fourth grader has been on a Nancy Drew kick. Now, I have nothing against Nancy Drew, but for the last several months that’s been almost all she’s read. That leads to conversations like this:
“Hey Mom, it’s only the second chapter and Nancy’s already been kidnapped and passed out!”
“Yeah. Usually she doesn’t get kidnapped or pass out until almost the end of the book where she solves the mystery!”
“If it’s getting that predictable, do you think you should try reading some different books?”
Fun times. So this summer, I want to encourage her to read some different genres and authors. I’d love her to experience some of my childhood favorites like Anne of Green Gables or A Wrinkle in Time. I also want to keep her writing. Reading comes naturally to this child; writing–not so much. Keeping a reading journal will help her practice her writing skills over the summer and help her remember details for taking AR tests on all these books next fall.
My son has read more diversely this year, but I still want him to keep reading and expand his book horizons. But it’s summer, and reading should be fun. How to encourage reading without setting ourselves up to battle over it all summer?
Enter Summer Book Bingo.
I’ve created two simple bingo charts. Each of them has choices of genres–fantasy, biography, mystery, and realistic fiction. Both also have some specific titles and subjects tailored for them. Anne of Green Gables, a book about space, Narnia, and Lord of the Rings for my fourth grader; Hank the Cowdog, Boxcar Children, dinosaurs, and a joke book for my first grader. Prizes involve money. Twenty-five dollars for one bingo, $50 if they get an X or a T, and $100 if they get a blackout during the course of the summer. Simple. They’re excited, and already working on book lists and reading plans.
I’m making both their bingo cards and a customizable bingo card available as a free download.
I hope this resource helps you enjoy reading with your children this summer. What books are your kids reading? How are you encouraging them to read?