5 Tips on Crafting the Perfect Summer Reading List for Students

Little boy sitting next to tall stack of books

At the end of the school year, many students and parents ask teachers how they can help keep academic progress going over vacation. Parents want to ensure their children are reading throughout the summer but they often do not know where to start when it comes to picking the best books for the children. Elementary school teachers love to put together summer reading lists to help solve this problem.

Many teachers will put together a few readings lists with suggestions at a range of reading levels. Or, they will recommend pre-made lists from local library or popular children’s book experts. These lists are a great place to start for creating the best summer reading lists. And here are a few tips to make those suggestions even more applicable to your students.

Popular Books

Include books that were popular in your classroom throughout the year. Often, a group of students will fall in love with a book and they will all pass it around until it is falling apart. This means that some students did not get a chance to read it. List those popular books so students remember the title and author. This also shows students you have personalized the list for them.

Nonfiction Books

There are so many great fiction books available for children. But nonfiction can be more difficult to find. Certain students are drawn to nonfiction but many more prefer fiction. To expand students’ horizons over the summer, make sure to suggest nonfiction books that span several topics.

Diverse Books

Books that feature multicultural characters and characters with diverse family situations are getting to be more common. These books expose students to lifestyles they may not know about. These books also represent students who are otherwise unrepresented in media. Research books that reflect the students you work with and help them find authors who write about kids just like them.

Books for Next Year

Work with teachers at the next grade level to determine what topics they would like students to know about or have some background exposure to. Suggest books that will help students get ahead for next year.

Available Books

Ask the local library what books they have multiple copies of in your students’ reading levels. When you suggest books on a reading list that are not available at the local library, you are limiting which students can gain access to them. Your school library might allow students to check out books over the summer or might even be open a few times during the summer to check books out. Include books on the summer reading list that students can get their hands on.

If you would love to focus more in encouraging your students to read, consider pursuing Graduate Certificates of Completion in Reading for Elementary Educators or for Secondary Educators at Grand Canyon University.

To learn more about how Grand Canyon University’s College of Education helps educators develop a love of reading in students, visit our website or click the Request More Information Button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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