“Reading during the summer is so important for students,” says Brain Waves Instruction. “It helps them develop leisure-time reading habits, reinforce reading skills, and prepare for instruction in the upcoming school year.”

Jen Bengel adds, “As teachers, we know the value of time spent reading. Numerous studies have shown that the best way for students to become better readers is to READ! We’re also very familiar with the idea of summer setback, or summer slide, when students regress one or more reading levels over the summer. Many times, students return to school in the fall and are assessed far below their spring reading levels. This is most likely due to the fact that students are simply not spending time reading over the summer.”

Let’s ensure the only “sliding” kids do this summer is on the water slide! We’ve selected 21 super-fun TpT resources that will help students keep their reading skills sharp even when school is out!

On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

This selection of resources is sure to enhance — not interrupt — summertime fun!

1. Whitney Parlin’s The ABC’s of Summer {Kinder/1st Printable Book} End of Year Resource FREE (grades PreK-1): “Students will have a blast creating the ABC’s of their summer journey. They’ll fill in each letter of the alphabet with a summer activity or ‘word of summer.’ Creativity will shine and students will want to come back and show you their book at the start of the new school year!”

2. The Moffatt Girls’ Summer Review NO PREP (grades PreK-1): “Avoid the summer slide with this massive 110-page summer review. This packet is filled with resources that will keep your students engaged this summer with fun, hands-on learning.”

3. TeacherMomof3’s Dive into A Good Book Summer Reading Logs FREE (grades PreK-2): “Keep kids excited and motivated to read this summer with these cute summer-themed logs. Kids will love cutting out the matching pictures to paste under the rating column! Perfect for posting on the fridge!”

4. Jennifer Long’s Summer Reading Challenge Freebie FREE (grades PreK-2): “This exciting challenge can be given to your students on the last day of school with the intent to have them complete it with their families over the summer. When it’s complete, your students can return it to school for a small reward!”

5. Yvonne Dixon’s Summer Book Club (grades PreK-3): “Summer book clubs encourage reading fun through friendships and peer relationships. Students will have a blast as they discover that reading with others is fun! This resource includes a contract for book club members, book recommendations for various ages, project and craftivity ideas, reading response questions, a blank calendar for scheduling activities, and a list of snack suggestions, just to name a few!”

6. Library Centers’ Summer Reading Challenge for kindergarten with book list (grade K): “So many great activities here! The reading log allows students to choose books based on their preferences and what’s available at their local library. There are also fun challenges such as ‘read a book barefoot.’ The reading list includes popular books at the grade-appropriate reading level together with read-alouds. Many of the books are series, so that students can continue reading about a favorite character they meet during the summer.”

7. Cindy Gilchrist’s Summer Reading Fun – Keep Your Students Reading This Summer! (grades K-2): “Keep your students reading this summer with this fun incentive! After they complete an activity on the sheet, they’ll color the book next to it. When all activities are complete and all books are colored, a family member can sign the bottom. When school starts back in the fall, kids can bring back the signed sheet for a prize (stickers, pencil, etc.). Not only will this encourage summer reading; you’ll get to see your former students!”

8. Katie Appel’s READ-O Home-School Reading Connection (grades K-2): “This resource offers a fun and effective way to keep kids engaged in literacy activities throughout the entire year, including summer break! It works by challenging students to complete as many of the boxes as they can. They can complete five in a row, the entire page, or even go in a zig-zag pattern! The black-and-white template makes it easy to print.”

9. More Than a Worksheet’s Summer Reading Passport (Single Classroom Use) (grades K-5): “This resource is designed to encourage students to read over the summer in a casual, fun, non-homework-y way. Students will take home a passport and 48 reading challenge badges. When they earn a badge, they’ll glue it to their passport. Challenges are divided into six different categories. For example, ‘Who’ badges challenge students to read with family members, friends, pets, and even stuffed animals. ‘Where’ badges challenge students to read in different places like the library, under a tree, or at the beach!”

10. Sue Wind’s Summer Reading Bingo Card FREE (grades 1-3): “Spark a child’s interest in reading during the summer with this Summer Reading Card. Family members work with students to select a square, gather materials needed, and read for 20 minutes or more. Then simply fill in the correct square! It may be helpful and fun to set a goal such as filling in one square per day.”

11. Angela Nerby’s Dig Into Summer Reading: Goal Setting and Reading Program (grades 1-3): “Excite your students about reading this summer with this beachy writing craft and summer reading program! You can use the activity during the last weeks of school to prepare your kids for reading over the summer months. Use the planning sheet to help your students develop their goal and plan. They can write about it and create a cute sand pail to be hung in the classroom or hallway (and taken home on the last day of school)! You’ll also find two scavenger hunt/bingo activities as well as a 100-book challenge!”

12. Kathy O’s Summer Reading Program FREE (grades 1-5): “Keep your students motivated to continue reading all summer long, with a summer reading wish list, reading log (includes summary sheets), goal-setting sheet, flip-flop themed tracking sheet, book review sheet, and bookmarks.”

13. The Nifty’s Librarian’s Super Summer Reading Packet: Bingo, Bookmarks, Reading Log, More! (grades 1-5): “This packet will help parents get a book club going in the neighborhood (and you can use this packet for your classroom during the year, too!) Contents include planning sheets to guide students through an independent book club meeting, a page to record questions that will be discussed at the next meeting, DIY book club rule booklet, self-evaluation pages, and more!”

14. Created by MrHughes’ 30 Ideas to Keep Kids Reading During Summer Vacation (grades 1-6): “Kids won’t want to wait to get started on these fun activity cards! The activities range from reading to writing, and some are ideal for home while others are perfect for on-the-go. There’s really an activity to fit about any situation a student may encounter during summer break.”

15. Jen Bengel’s Summer Freebie! Printable Resources to Encourage Students to Read this Summer!! FREE (grades 1-6): “This free resource encourages students and their family members to read, read, read when school’s out. Just 20 minutes a day can make a world of difference! My goal is to get my students to see the value and enjoyment in reading routinely throughout the summer months! Included in this resource is a summer reading agreement, a reading letter to parents, and a summer reading log.”

16. Panicked Teacher’s Summer Reading Writing Challenge! (grades 2-5): “Send this resource home with your students for the summer to help keep them excited about reading! Just a few of the contents include writing journals, word watch challenges, business plan activities, and reading & writing certificates!”

17. Melissa Shutler’s End of the Year Make it Take it Centers (grades 3-4): “These centers combine learning with summer fun! On one of the last days of school, have students walk through the centers with a gallon-sized ziplock bag. As they move from center to center, they’ll follow the directions and add their summer enrichment activities to their bag! Here’s an example of one activity: Read a nonfiction article about animal homes that are underground and in dens. Then observe the creatures that call a tree their home and write down your observations about their home.”

18. Kate’s Classroom Cafe’s Summer Reading Adventure Mini Book (grades 4-6): “This summer skills booklet will help keep your students engaged with both fiction and non-fiction text! It gives kids achievable summer reading goals and keeps reading and responding simple and FUN!”

19. Brain Waves Instruction’s Summer Reading Project – Any Book – Creating a Newspaper (grades 5-8): “In this summer reading project, students read a book and then create a two-page newspaper complete with a main event lead news story, character profile, editorial book review, setting highlight, and even a comic, obituary, or advice column. For each element of the newspaper, students complete guided pre-writes. Then, they write rough drafts for each piece of the newspaper. Finally, after editing and revising their work, students create final copy articles and illustrations for their paper. The final product is a two page newspaper that’s an outstanding representation of their comprehension and a great addition to any writing portfolio.”

20. Arlene Manemann’s Journal Responses: Any Novel or Short Story (grades 5-12): This handout of journal response ideas gives students starting points for interacting with the characters and events in the book’s plot. There’s also a literature circle handout and a page of bookmarks with additional response questions and journal starters. And let’s not forget the word search! If you’re assigning summer reading, these journal responses and recap pages make excellent additions to the summer packet.

21. Danielle Knight’s Summer Tutor Task Cards: Summer Reading, ELA Grades 7-12 (grades 7-12): “This resource includes 38 cards focusing on critical thinking, literary analysis, characters, plot, theme, opinion, and creativity. Perfect as a summer reading activity!”

Bookmark Mania!

Bring a splash of summer to your students’ reading experiences with these super cool, must-have bookmarks. Some are interactive, and all are free!

Sue Lynch’s iPods – Summer Playlist ipods – Fun Last Day Give Away

First Grade Buddies’ Summer Reading Bookmark

Becky Castle’s Summer Themed Bookmarks FREEBIE! 2 sets – 1 with name slots and 1 without

First Class in 4th Grade’s Summer Bookmarks {Free}

Danielle Knight’s Summer Reading Bookmark: Guided Reading Journal Questions


So many great ideas for encouraging kids to put on their reading hats this summer. Find more summer reading resources on TpT. And here’s one more tip: book bin labels! Send a selection home with your students at the end of the year — they’ll get so excited to decorate their at-home library. What fun!

(Thank you to Cindy- First Grade A to Z for the book clip art, Paula Kim Studio for the flip-flop clip art, and The Learning Tree for the Tree Stumps font.)

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