I learned to read at an early age, but I was a reluctant reader in school. I don't know why, but I remember resisting the act of reading a chapter book and always used the book jackets to write my book reports. In elementary school I could score in the upper percentiles on achievement tests, but my grades did not reflect that. Teachers would make comments on my report card saying that I "must work harder". I didn't know how to work at schoolwork. I remember how much my Mom helped me study geography when I had chicken pox, missed a week of school and got behind. Now I love geography, but it was hard in 3rd grade.
My sixth grade teacher brought me adventure comic books to encourage me to read. I read the adventures of Robinson Crusoe and "Last of the Mohicans". But I didn't pursue other opportunities. The first summer, I actually was engrossed in a long book was the summer I was 12 or 13. I remember laying on a pallet under the big oak tree in our back yard, reading and crying as I read. The book was "Gone With the Wind". It seemed to be the perfect timing between my age and the sweet summer to read a conflicted love story. Now I have shelves filled with books I love and have read most of them. There is still an occasional book that I start, but don't finish.
So you can understand why I was successful working with reluctant readers and writers. I know their frustrations of starting and reluctance to finish a task. Whenever I have the opportunity, I use activities that encourage teachers to include writing tasks with science lessons. In today's email from Project Learning Tree, I found a short list of books to encourage kids to read during the summer. I would like to share the link in hopes that the reader is challenged to encourage kids to use some of their time this summer to fall in love with reading.
Here is the first book:
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