Books may not belong on trees, but don’t tell that to students in Donna’s 4th Grade class in Channahon, Illinois! She motivates students to read throughout the year with the clever idea below. It’s the perfect way to get kids reading all year long!
Year Round Reading
Each summer, I send out a welcome letter to my new students along with three paper leaves cut from red, orange, and yellow construction paper. In the letter, I ask my students-to-be to read at least three books over the summer and to use the leaves to record the book titles (one per leaf) as well as their names.
When my new students arrive at my door on Day One, I hang their leaves on a tree I’ve made out of paper. Above the tree is the title, “Reading is Fun all Year ‘Round. “ As they year progresses, I remove the leaf shapes and offer students new shapes to label and hang on the tree: ghosts for October; turkeys for November, and so on. As the year progresses, I collect and keep the shapes my students have used to record favorite books.
At the end of the year, I return the shape collections to my students along with three new blank fall leaves and an envelope addressed to my home. Inside the envelope is a note explaining that if they read three more books over the summer and mail me these three new leaves labeled with the book titles and their names, they will find their leaves have become part of my first fall display.
Sure enough, many of my old students mail me their leaves and return the following September, happy to see that their contributions have “gathered on the ground” beneath the branches boasting my new students’ leafy offerings.
How do you get students excited about reading all year long? Share your ideas in the comments below!