Summer Reading

Summer reading is always a point of contention. Should it be assigned? What should be assigned? How much should be assigned? Is it enough to merely read the book or should a paper be required as “proof” that reading occured? The questions go on and on. I found this article by Claire Hollander to raise some interesting points. In particular, she stresses that the reading should be “intentional.” By this she means that the outcome for the reading should be clear at the outset. If the outcome is to read for reading’s sake, have at it. If the outcome is to read off a prescribed list for fall discussions, state that. If a paper or reflection is required, make sure students (and parents!) know that up front. More headaches are caused by the last minute cramming of Catcher in the Rye the evening before school starts than one can imagine. Hollander also makes mention of the value of non-fiction reading. She argues that these books expand a student’s world view as well as expand vocabulary. I couldn’t agree more and with so much non-fiction for teens (and adults) being written in such approachable and manageable formats it makes it all the more interesting. Check out Hollander’s article at:

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