I was going back through all the “pin now – read later” items that I had pinned on Pinterest and noticed there was a bunch of really fun finds to do with reading. In no particular order, here are four ideas for reading in the new year.
Read Your Way Across the USA
I love this. I have read a few of these books but I like that someone has taken the time to prepare a map of books that take place in each of the 50 states. For those kids that are looking for a fun challenge or want to expand from their usual genre choices, this might be a fun way to encourage the introduction of a few new authors into their reading life. My fifth graders have read some of these books but some might be a bit beyond them at this point. I also like the idea of them creating their own reading map based on books that they have read or want to read and seeing if we can also make our reading way across the USA.
I have kids who tell me, “I don’t like fantasy” or will ask, “What is the difference between Science Fiction and Fantasy?”. This guide looks really helpful in helping kids independently make choices about the type of genre they will read next. I like the similarities column as that to me seems to be the way to get the kids to expand from the genres they currently read into new ones.
Read Write Think Website
If you are yet to discover this website, you are in for a treat. If you are a regular user, you will know how awesome it is. I did a quick search for “reading” and “strategy guides” and then narrowed down the results by clicking on “inquiry based teaching”. What I got was a great guide to teaching research skills with an inquiry approach. The guides are comprehensive, fully supported by research, come with appropriate handouts and/or links to other websites, and best of all, are less of a ‘one stop shop’ to be reproduced and more of a spring-board for your own interpretation and ideas as a teacher. The detail and depth of this website makes it a firm favorite of mine and really does hammer home the connection between reading, writing and thinking – as it’s name suitably suggests.
Encouraging higher order thinking is something that can be done when children are reading. The following graphic is one which explains the ‘higher order’ and provides kid-friendly synonyms for each level. I will be introducing this in my classroom as a way of highlighting these ideas to my kids and getting them to delve deeper in their thinking as they discuss and write about the books they are reading.
What tools, ideas or strategies are you reading in the new year with?