A Reading Challenge to promote wide reading

At the start of 2017, a Reading Challenge was designed which aimed to encourage wide reading and direct students to different resources in the school library. As the library provides for 25 classes Years K-6, three different Challenges were created:

  • Years 1 and 2 (Stage 1)
  • Years 3 and 4 (Stage 2)
  • Years 5 and 6 (Stage 3)

Sample of a Reading Challenge

In summary, each Reading Challenge has 36 reading-related tasks, some tasks are directed to a book series such as Oxford Reading Tree or National Geographic Kids, however, most tasks are open-ended for example Read a book with a character’s name in the title.

Promoting the Reading Challenge once underway can be done by doing a quick read (blurb, the first couple of pages) and asking where the book would fit into the Challenge – most books cover more than one task.

In order to simplify and share the Reading Challenges, I have combined aspects of each and created two levels. The files are in Word allowing for adjustments and aligning to your school or class library collection.

The Reading Challenges can be downloaded via TES Resources – Reading Challenge.

Some Tips:

  • Introduce the Reading Challenge early in the school year and provide a certificate for halfway – 18 tasks completed and final 36 completed tasks. Templates for certificates are also included. If you start later in the year the Challenge could be refined.
  • Students colour in each square as they complete the task, a date can be added if required. It may also be helpful for students to write the name of the book read and date – a template for this is also provided, it can be printed on the back of the Challenge.
  • If used during Library borrowing it is helpful to keep the Reading Challenges in a class folder, keep a record of progress using a checklist such as student name / completed 18 / completed 36.
  • Count the Challenges about twice a term, record a date and number completed each count.

The Reading Challenge encourages students to be mindful about finding different books to read as they progress with the Challenge. What the class teacher’s and I noticed is that students who already read a lot took to the Challenge quickly needing little encouragement or guidance. One Year 5 student who was ‘a reader’ asked for help finding ‘verse novels’ she was directed to Odette’s Secrets by Maryann Macdonald which she reported she really enjoyed and asked for more like that. Students who generally read less needed more encouragement, taking time to talk to them about what they are enjoying and guiding to suitable books is highly recommended. If a student received a certificate for 18 Reading Challenge tasks completed that is an achievement!

The images in the documents were purchased under licence from https://www.flaticon.com/

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