Reflection: Lesson Planning Summer Reading: Create a Book Jacket - Section 1: Introduce the Project


Most teachers would agree that the wonderful summer months fly by all too quickly. We use the time to catch up on all the chores and projects relegated to the “that’s a summer a job” list created during the school year.  We attend workshops, take courses and plan for the school year ahead.  We also pray that our most recent crop of grade level graduates takes our heartfelt advice and reads, reads, READS! Well-documented research proves that the gap in literacy skills between summer readers and non-readers grows exponentially over time. To stave off the slump, schools and libraries have developed a variety of approaches and programs with the intent of keeping the readers hooked and drawing in the reluctant ones.

My own school system asks students to read three books before the start of the next school year. To make the process easier, students are provided with a lengthy reading list with titles from an assortment of genres and at a variety of reading levels. However, books need not come from the list. To encourage success, tips for students and parents are provided too. Annotation, note taking and summarizing are suggested but not required. So comes my dilemma: How does summer reading fit into the sixth grade ELA curriculum? Since the guidelines are not formal, how do I address this nonassignment-assignment? What is acceptable evidence of completion, considering that I have not taught them any specific skills or processes? I certainly want to send the message that reading is important all year round but in a way that meets these parameters. To do so students complete a project that requires them to list all the books they read over the summer, choose the one they enjoyed most to summarize, consider what made that book stand out, and reflect on their summer reading experience. I do not grade this assignment on reading comprehension. Instead I use it as a first look at students writing abilities and to gain insight to their reading experience.

  Background for This Lesson
  Lesson Planning: Background for This Lesson
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Summer Reading: Create a Book Jacket

Unit 1: Team Building
Lesson 2 of 3

Objective: Demonstrate ability to write with focus, organization, and supporting details and demonstrate understanding of a book read during summer vacation. Engage in collaborative discussions with partners and small groups about the texts.

Big Idea: Giving students an opportunity to reflect on their summer reading habits may produce some surprises for you and for them too!

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book jacket
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