Make reading public celebration, and to vary the ways you think, talk about, share, and respond to texts. When the method that you use to keep students accountable for their reading is fun and engaging, they are less likely to view reading as a chore and more likely to enjoy it.
Five different Reading Log Alternatives are included in this bundle. Each format involves creating something without being time-consuming. The products students create and share start conversations and generate interest in the books that they read.
- The 6 Word Memoir: 6 Word Memoirs are a great way to summarize a character's journey through the plot of a story. Six words take up so little space but can convey such big ideas.
- Sketch Quotes: While just copying text from a book may seem like a relatively basic task, and it is, the evidence of thinking and learning will show in what text a student selected to copy, and in their reflections about that text.
- Headlines: The goal of a quality newspaper headline is to get someone to want to read more, so it makes perfect sense to add this to your reading log arsenal. While writing headlines may seem like a simple task because they are so short, it takes a fair amount of thoughtfulness because of the limitations in length.
- Word Clouds: Word clouds are a great option when you want students to focus on characterization, vocabulary, or mood. Students generate word lists as they are reading or listening to a text and then create character clouds, mood clouds, or vocabulary clouds from the words they selected from the text.
- Text Sketch: This strategy eliminates any doubts as to whether or not the students were paying attention during a text that is read aloud in class. Their sketches show that they have an understanding of which moments were important.
The activities include detailed instructions for introducing the lesson, student worksheets, and reflection pages to use after their work is shared. Independent reading activities include single point rubrics for scoring. I have included reflection pages to use after students have shared their work. You can assess a student’s work as well as gain insight into how their thinking about the text may have changed after interacting with the work shared by other readers.
Another benefit to replacing the traditional reading log with these alternative responses is that when put together as a collection, they eliminate the need for a final book report or project. Students are doing this already bit-by-bit throughout the book. When they finish a book, they can go right on to reading a new book without stopping to decorate a shoebox or something.