As the holidays and school breaks approach, it’s important to encourage elementary students to keep reading.
Reading is a crucial skill that helps learners succeed in all areas of life. However, it can be a challenge to keep students engaged in reading during their time off from school.
I know for my US friends, Thanksgiving Break is coming up pretty quickly!
Isn’t it funny how it seems to take forever to get here, and then once it is upon us, it seems to have jumped out of nowhere?
Maybe that’s just me – haha!
So let’s talk about Thanksgiving Break homework. Whether you are pro-homework or con-homework centric, keep reading and perhaps a comprised solution is below!
Encouraging Student Reading Over the Holidays
Here are some alternative ways to encourage reading over school breaks.
Teachers can help by providing students with a list of recommended books to read during the break.
This can be done through email or by sending home a printed list. The list should include a variety of genres and reading levels to cater to different interests and abilities.
Teachers can challenge students to set reading goals for themselves over the break. This could be in the form of a reading log or journal where students can track their progress and reflect on what they’ve read.
Setting goals can help students stay motivated and focused on their reading.
Parents can help by creating a cozy reading nook at home. This could be a designated area with comfortable seating, good lighting, and plenty of books to choose from.
Creating a comfortable and inviting space for reading can help encourage students to pick up a book and start reading.
Teachers and parents can consider using technology as an alternative way to encourage reading.
There are many online resources available that offer interactive books, audiobooks, and other digital tools that can help engage students in reading.
Who is Turkey Tom?
You may or may not have heard the urban myth about how “turkey Tom” got its name:
The legend states that Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were at odds about what the national bird should be. Franklin wanted the turkey and Jefferson felt the eagle was a better fit.
The story continues that after the eagle won out, Franklin named the turkey “Tom” after Thomas Jefferson.
Turns out that the above story most likely is not true at all.
Instead, the word Tom is added to male animal names. For example: a tomcat. In this case, we are talking about tom turkey.
There you have it. Nothing as drama-filled and far less entertaining. HA!
So here’s the real question…
Should you assign homework during the holidays?
Some schools have just a few days off for the break, while others have over a week off.
Most students will be busy will visiting families, perhaps helping parents clean the house, or prep the meal. They will most likely be visiting with relatives they don’t see often.
The day after Thanksgiving, they might be tagging along for Black Friday shopping, going to the movie theater, or attending local Christmas lighting ceremonies.
Needless to say, they probably won’t have a ton of extra time to complete huge packets of work in the time off as the hours are most likely already accounted for with pre-planned activities.
I know many of you do not like to assign a bunch of homework over the holiday break anyway, but you would love if your students would do some reading during the time off, because reading is the key to everything.
So I threw together this fun little freebie for you to pass out the last day before break.
This fun Turkey Tom is perfect for Kindergarten to second grade students!
It could be used for older students, except perhaps change the requirements to just ONE book since older students are most likely reading chapter books and requiring 3 chapter books even over a week with all the additional activities is probably a bit much.
The printable slips say the following:
This is Turkey Tom and he really likes to read.
He is hoping with some days off school with friends and family,
You can follow his lead!
Read 3 books over break and bring back this slip to be entered in a fun prize drawing!
Now – what should you offer as the “prize”? Perhaps a book! How fun would that be?
Head to a local yard sale, thrift shop, or in your own stash at home and find a book in good condition to be able to gift to a deserving student.
Bonus points if it is holiday themed.
Other options? Eat lunch with the teacher, a fun sticker, extra computer time, or sit by a friend.
And just for the record, I wouldn’t even mention what the “prize” is to the students until you do the drawing after returning from break.
Sometimes the mystery alone is worth the entry fee to many students.
I have included a color copy and a grayscale version for those of you who don’t have access to a color copier and prefer instead to just copy on colored paper instead. Grab it below.
Encouraging elementary students to read over school breaks is important for their success as learners. By providing recommended book lists, setting goals, creating cozy reading nooks, and using technology as an alternative way to encourage reading, we can help keep students engaged in this crucial skill even when they’re not in school.
Have fun and I hope your students have fun reading over the holiday – which really is the point, right?
This post originally appeared at Organized Classroom.