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This is a reading log and introduction/ explanation page for a 20 Book Reading Challenge. This product was modeled off Donalyn Miller's 40 Book Challenge as described in . The number of books required was reduced to 20 to accommodate a required curriculum that doesn't allow for as much in-class reading, but students are still expected to try books across different genres. 20 Books also works well for semester-long English/ Reading courses!
This product can be used with any grade level where students have reached a point of reading independently, but would probably be best used with 3rd grade and above.
I give this to my students early in the school year, around the time we start discussing the importance of reading to develop skills they'll need for high school and college.
I do not attach strings or require actual proof that students have read- I simply take their word for it. I explain this to students at the beginning, and share with them my philosophy that if they want to spend time fake-reading a boring book, they're only hurting themselves. I also strongly emphasize that I want students to abandon books if they aren't enjoying what they're reading. This freedom, and the ability to say no to a boring book, gives students the confidence to fearlessly pursue new texts and genres without feeling forced into anything. I do get some pushback with the genre requirements, but I explain the importance of reading across genres, and I work hard early in the year to book-talk and recommend texts to students to they see that I'll help them find something that interests them.
I like to require a certain number of books to be "due" by various points in the year just so students can check in with their progress, but this is by no means a hard deadline. I am also highly flexible with the actual number of books, as I have students who are ready to attempt classic literature and push themselves through longer, more difficult texts while others want to re-read a favorite "easy" series before jumping into something new. No matter how many books a student gets through, the emphasis is on the journey and the reading rather than the ultimate number of books students finish. If you want more information and background on this philosophy, I highly recommend by Donalyn Miller or by Dr. Steven Layne.