Adventures in Literacy Land: Summer Reading Activities

Showing posts with label Summer Reading Activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summer Reading Activities. Show all posts

Fun Ways to Incorporate Literacy into your Summertime Activites

Hi everyone! I know some of you teachers have been on summer vacation for weeks or even a month, but my last day of school was just over a week ago! I have been thinking about ways you can incorporate literacy during your summer and keeping it fun for your kids. And literacy is more than reading, but reading is the backbone of it - don't forget about things like writing, rhyming, phonics and poetry as part of summer literacy! Here are some ways I think you could keep literacy in your summer and keep it  fun!

Kids love jokes- even bad ones! Grab some joke books or even read the silly jokes that are on popsicle sticks. If your kids already know a lot of jokes, a summer activity could be making their own joke book. 
Here are a couple books that might tickle your kids' fancy! 

Laugh out loud jokes for Kids by Rob Elliot and The Everything  Kids Giant Book of Jokes, Riddles and Brain Teasers (click to learn more)


Restaurant Menus and Placemats!
Many kids' menus have fun facts, word searches and other literacy activities. Your menus may also be great for reading and learning. For example, a restaurant I was at the other day had some interesting facts. It was in a building from the 1800s and was originally the city’s first gas utility building.  Gas from the building would be used to light the gas lamps. 

The License Plate Game
What a fun game for traveling! You can do it while taking long (or short) car rides. You can play it informally, you can keep a notebook in the back seat for your kids to record what they see, or use a formal game product like the one below by Melissa and Doug. You can also look for vanity plates and a fun challenge- trying to figure out what the license plates say when they are missing letters!

Melissa and Doug's License Plate Game (click for more info)

Find a Pen Pal
Kids love pen pal - both for handwritten letters and e-mails. International Pen Friends helps hook kids and adults up with pen pals from more than 150 countries. Click here and of course, supervising your kid's communication might be wise! Also this website, called Great Kids! has a fun pen pal project. Learn more here.

Scavenger Hunts
The possibilities for scavenger hunts are endless. Kids can write the list of items or you can. The things to find or do can also include writing or reading!

Funny Stories
I still use Mad Libs with my class. They love them! If you can't get your hands on Mad Libs, you and your kids can make your own, or make up your own silly stories! Type them, write them, or video them!

Sight Word Hopscotch
At home, or when you travel, try some sight word hopscotch. Draw a hopscotch frame and instead of numbers, write sight words and hop away!

Record Your Own Audio Book or Book on Video
Either your kids or you can read a book and make an audio recording (there are plenty of apps that can help) or try reading a book and recording a video of it! Kids love being on camera! A twist on this is to make your own reader's theater version of a play and record it. My mom used to make little plays from scratch with my brother and I. We'd make props of cardboard, aluminum foil and whatever we had around. It was so fun!

Writing with Word Magnets
Grab some word magnets and make sentences or short stories. You can also make your own by writing on magnetic tape.

Here's some you might like!


Imaginary Play
Kids love to do imaginary play right? Well, there are ways to incorporate literacy in that play! If they are playing store or restaurant, they can make a menu or a “catalog”. Kids  can write receipts or checks for their sibling's or friend's purchases.

Museums or Zoos
There is a lot of possible reading and learning when you visit a museum or a zoo!

Make Your own Word Search
My second graders love to do this on graph paper or you can have them pick the words and you can make them. You can also use free online websites that will make the word searches (or crosswords, word scrambles, etc) for you!

Travel Journal or Scrapbook
Help your children make  a travel journal if you’re traveling! Simple and involves reading and writing!

Read and Sing!
There are lots of books that are also songs or easy to sing. Check out some of these rhyming books you can sing! Click on any to learn more.

Miss Mary Mack and other Other Children’s Street Rhymes by Joanna Cole and Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christelow 

Who Took the Cookie from the Cookie Jar by Rozanne Williams and Rain Rain Go Away by Caroline Church  

You are my Sunshine by Caroline Church

Also, you may like to check out my previous post, Keep Kids Active and Engaged while Learning Reading Skills! I originally wrote it for teachers but parents can definitely do some of the activities at home this summer. Click here to check it out!


Move! Groove! Read!

Greetings Royal Readers!

It's Jennifer here from Stories and Songs in Second to share some ideas on how to incorporate literacy learning into outdoor activities during the summer!

While my current summer days are slow-paced and slightly sedentary,  I often find myself thinking back to my childhood summers when hours were spent outdoors riding bikes, roller skating, playing Kick the Can, jumping rope, and running through the sprinkler.  Chasing after the music of the ice cream truck was the highlight of our afternoons, and running in pursuit of lightning bugs was the highlight of our evenings.

I also remember the alliterative, rhymed poems my friends and I used to call out while we jumped rope or hopped over our Skip-Its.  I remember the rhythm sticks we tapped together at Girl Scout camp while we sang songs around the bonfire or marched along the trail.  

Raise your hand if you remember twirling your jump rope as you chanted....

Strawberry shortcake!
Huckleberry Finn!
When I call your birthday,
please jump in!

Smile if you criss-crossed, hand-clapped, and knee-slapped with a partner to.....

Miss Mary Mack-Mack-Mack!
All dressed in black-black-black!
She jumped so high-high-high!
She reached the sky-sky-sky!
She never came back-back-back!
'Til the 4th of July-ly-ly!

Nod knowingly if you drove your day camp bus driver crazy with countless renditions of.....

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!
That's my name too!
Whenever I go out!
People always shout!
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!

Sigh happily if you remember reading Bruce Degen's Jamberry  over, and over, and over to your toddler--like I did.  It was one of my daughter's favorite books.  I read it aloud to her so many times that I know it by heart.  We used to do a simple "patty cake"-like clap to set the beat or cadence....

One berry
Two berry
Pick me a blueberry

In my canoeberry

Under the bridge
And over the dam
Looking for berries
Berries for jam

In her book entitled, Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites, Marcia L. Tate recommends incorporating physical movement activities, along with chants like these and a variety of alphabet books, in lessons designed to reinforce initial consonant sounds and familiar rhyming patterns. She cites research by Marzano (2007), saying that physical movement increases student energy, and therefore enhances their engagement.  She reminds us that according to Markowitz and Jensen (2007), movement also triggers memory.

She recommends having students jump rope while reciting verses from  A, My Name is Alice written by Jane Bayer and illustrated by Stephen Kellogg, to reinforce initial consonant sounds and rhyming patterns. A mini-trampoline would work as well!  She suggests having students write their own original rhymes to jump along to as well.

She cites this example:

B, My name is Barbara.
And my husband's name is Bob. 
We come from Brazil.
And we sell balloons.
Barbara is a bear.
Bob is a baboon!

You can see and hear this delightful book {HERE}!

My challenge to you--if you are a parent--is to  pull out  or go buy these "old-fashioned" toys and share them with your young children.  Then read or teach the favorite chants, stories, or poems you remember--or that I've shared here--to go along with them....and  SHA-ZAM!  You have an outdoor summer literacy lesson that is more fun than work!

My challenge to you--if you are an educator--is to keep these "old-fashioned" toys handy in your classroom and invest in the books I've recommended here.  Use them often to help reach those readers who are kinesthetic and benefit from the sensory input that jumping, gesturing, twirling, and tapping provides.

Be sure to stop back this Wednesday, June 24th, for the second installment of  The Reading Crew's SUMMER BLOG PARTY.  Our topic will be phonics fun, and I hope to have an animal-themed alphabet book activity to share with you then.  I'm in the process of creating some writing templates that students can use to compose their own tongue twisters like those in A is for Alice.  

Just think what a wonderful reader's theater presentation or puppet show performance could evolve from their original compositions!  Imagine the possibilities!

Until next time, thanks so much for sharing my story!  May your summer be full of good books, good times, good stories, and good rhymes!