Throughout the month of July, we’ve talked about the “summer slide” and how being out of school can impact students’ ability to retain knowledge gained in the classroom. We’ve also talked about things parents and mentors can do to alleviate summer brain drain, and even created an awesome Pinterest board with lots of fun and creative ideas. But there’s one aspect of summer learning that Beyond the Classroom has yet to discuss: assigned reading.
When most students think about assigned summer reading, it’s with an internal (or audible) groan. But when teachers give out lists of books at the end of the school year, it’s not with the intent of torturing students. Rather, it’s an effective way of making sure students stay engaged in learning and keep their language skills sharp until they’re back in the classroom. For students who don’t normally enjoy reading, or have trouble doing so, assigned summer reading ensures that books stay in their hands. And having a couple of months to complete the assignment means less pressure, so kids may actually enjoy reading and discussing the books with their families or friends.
Some of my favorite books were given to me as summer reading in high school. To this day, I absolutely love taking The Poisonwood Bible and Snow Falling on Cedars to the beach, two books I would never have read if I had not been assigned them by a teacher.
What are some favorite books you learned about through assigned summer reading? Please share them in our comments section!