Summertime and da livin’ is easy! Kids rejoice when released from school for vacation. But what about learning lags from too much time away from books? Here are reading activities and book-based crafts and literature response lessons.
* Entrepreneurial reading. Research, plan and organize summer money-makers: yard sale, babysitting, lawn and pet services, knitting and craft sales, housecleaning, lemonade stand (Lemonade Day shows how).
* Book-based crafts. Scholastic has free printable book crafts, games and activities. Education.com has free summer reading club printables.
* Book promotionals. Make posters, book covers, sculptures advertising stories. Make book-based products: toys, snacks, games. In homeschooling, my 6th grade son made “Hobbit Holes” cereal. Here are my six other book report alternatives.
* Book recipes. Make foods described in books. Look for companion cookbooks, like American Girls. Invent recipes. We made Winnie-the-Pooh “haycorn” (pecan) pie and honey cookies.
* Readers theatre. Make book character puppets (here’s my homemade puppet how-to). Have kids retell story.
* Reading response journal. Have kids track reading and complete activities. Here’s how to make a response journal and optional reading response activities. Here’s a free printable reading calendar from PBS.
* Homemade books. Cut book covers from cereal box. Cover with scrap wrapping paper or wallpaper. Cover with magazine picture collage. Decoupage by painting pictures with watered-down school glue, front and back. Cut lined paper pages (for text) and blank paper (for illustrations). Or use scrap paper, drawing text lines.
* Book diorama. Create scenes from books using recycled products. Here’s my diorama how-to.
* Book to film. Make costumes and act out story. Film production.
* Story Mp3s. Record kids reading book. Upload to Youtube.
* Book-music videos. Create music playlists based on books. Set to images drawn from book. Create presentations with Microsoft Powerpoint. Make song metaphorical. We just saw a “Macbeth” play set to Lady Gaga “Bad Romance,” The Decemberists “This is Why We Fight” and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” (Cage the Elephant).
* Book radio play. Invent a radio station (BOOK, READ) and dramatize story (here’s how). Create sound effects. Add fake commercials related to book (Moby Dick radio play might include “Whale-B-Gone” or “Happy Hunter’s Harpoons.”