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Keep Your Students Reading Over Winter Break

Sitting snowman in hat, coat, and scarf
Image credit: https://www.djinkers.com

Research has found that reading just 20 minutes a day exposes children to millions of words a year. Students have a chance to read for 14 days if they take advantage of every day over winter break. At the end of this article you will find a listing of Holiday/Winter books from AIM-VA to help. Also, here are a few ideas that may encourage your students to continue reading over this winter holiday.

  1. Challenge your students to read at least 20 minutes a day. Make sure you have books that they want to read. You can do this by going to AIM-VA, select Get Started and Search for a Book. Check out the book recommendations by title, author, or keyword. Screenshot of the Search For a Book page on the AIM-VA Portal
  2. Create a way for students to keep track of their reading over winter break. Consider making a chart of some type where students can record what they are reading and how long they read each day. They can turn this in after the break for extra credit or some other reward. Here’s an example: Reading Chart
    Date Title of Book Amount of Time Reading Parent Initials
    Dec. 21
    Dec. 22
    Dec. 23
    Dec. 24
    Dec. 25
    Dec. 26
    Dec. 27
    Dec. 28
    Dec. 29
    Dec. 30
    Dec. 31
    Jan. 1
    Jan. 2
    Jan. 3
    TOTALTotal # of minutes read
  3. Have students share their thoughts on a book as they are reading using Padlet https://padlet.com/, Google Jamboard or any other media that students are familiar with. With Padlet students can create walls, grids, maps, timelines, among other things. For example, this is a timeline of Huckleberry Finn created in Padlet. After winter break, students can turn this in for credit. Screenshot of Padlet timeline
  4. Have students create a word cloud with new words they do not know or words that explain the character or story https://www.wordclouds.com/. Here’s an example of a word cloud that describes the character of Huckleberry Finn. Word cloud containing the words adventurous, brave, free-willed, independent, cunning, witty, curious, selfless, thoughtful, intelligent, and outgoing
  5. Find out if your students are taking a road trip and encourage them to listen to a book in the car. This is a way to help pass the time and a way to meet a reading goal at the same time.

You can continue many of these ideas after winter break and incorporate them into your reading activities throughout the rest of the year.

Other resources for ideas to keep students reading:

7 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Read Over Winter Break

Keeping Elementary Students Reading Over Winter Break

4 Practical Tips to Keep Students Reading Over Winter Break