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3 Fun Summer School Activities and Tips

If you’re planning ahead for activities that will keep your students engaged during summer school, you’ll find what you need with Raz-Plus resources for fun reading comprehension activities.

Reader’s Theater Scripts

Bring out your students’ inner actors with scripts adapted from Raz-Plus leveled books. Created for grades 1-5 with texts for students ready at the Early, Middle, and Upper levels of their grade, these scripts get students out of their desks and in front of the classroom to practice reading fluency and public speaking. Students learn how to use their bodies and voices to convey textual meanings while collaborating to determine the best ways to express emotions and actions in a text. Reader’s Theater Scripts are interactive lessons that foster interaction and cooperation, improve listening skills, and help students understand literary elements such as motivation and characterization.

Tips

  • Give each student his/her own script to annotate with cues.
  • Pre-teach difficult vocabulary.
  • Coach readers to look up from their scripts to make eye contact with the audience.
  • Let students get creative by crafting back-stories and motivations for their characters.
  • Remind students that acting involves reacting to their fellow performers’ lines and actions.

Project-Based Learning Packs

Project-Based Learning Packs immerse students in active learning as they team up to investigate a high-interest topic from multiple angles and texts. After reading an Anchor Text that builds background knowledge about the central question, students work in small groups to develop questions for further investigation, read and evaluate supporting sources, and plan a project and presentation that demonstrates their learning. In this interactive context, students build 21st century skills by participating in authentic discussions and that help them create their own knowledge about a topic.

Tips

  • Use project-based learning packs for science, history, social studies, or writing lessons.
  • Set aside 10-20 days to introduce and complete projects.
  • Encourage students apply their strengths in the project: artistic students can take charge of visual materials for the presentation, math lovers will enjoy interpreting charts and graphs, and skilled writers can write or edit a presentation script.
  • Set mini-goals for each day and ask students to record their progress.
  • Engage students in informal discussions about the central question while students work in small groups.

Literature Circles

Watch what happens when your students start their own book clubs! Literature Circles are a structured book club activity that can be incorporated into any classroom to get students exploring literary themes, reading independently, and collaborating to think critically about texts. As a balanced literacy solution, Literature Circles encourage students to analyze texts, record responses in a journal, and participate in discussions where they predict, question, and interpret literary devices. With multiple opportunities for peer learning, modeling, and support, students practice active reading strategies while building social and analytical skills.

Tips

  • Begin by hosting a book talk that introduces students to a selection of books by explaining their general themes and topics, and then allow them to choose a book that interested them most.
  • Introduce students to book reviews and author interviews for examples of how to critique and discuss a text.
  • Expand creative writing opportunities by asking students to write a sequel to the book they read.
  • Ask students to complete an Exit Activity that describes their role in the group and how they contributed to group discussion.
  • Encourage students to explore what made certain words or passages memorable.

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