As elementary teachers, we are tasked with teaching students how to read, but we also want to teach them to how to love reading. Since literacy is a life skill, some students view it as a chore more than something they can enjoy. We also have students who have difficulty with decoding and comprehension, which can impact their enjoyment of reading. One way that I like to engage young readers is to use simple but engaging seasonal reading passages. In this post, I’m going to share with you why reading about the current season can be highly beneficial and engaging for young learners.
How to Get Students Engaged in Reading
I have written a whole post with general strategies for keeping young students engaged in reading. If you’d like a refresher of my suggestions, they are:
- Have your students read something that interests them. Reading is reading, even graphic novels and cookbooks!
- Set an example by participating in silent reading time with your class.
- Read out loud to your students, then offer them the opportunity to read the book for themselves after you’ve read it.
- Make reading colorful with color coding.
- Choose relatable books and practice passages.
Seasonal reading passages can help you implement the engagement strategies above! Keep reading to see exactly how to incorporate themed reading passages into your literacy practice and why it can be so engaging!
How Seasonal Reading Passages Engage Young Readers
There’s just something about reading seasonal passages that keeps students interested and engaged in reading. In my experience, there are five main ways that seasonal reading passages are especially effective in the elementary classroom.
1. They are Relatable and Relevant
All students have experienced changing seasons before, including the holidays and vocabulary that go along with each season. By choosing reading passages that correspond to the current season, students can relate to the content of the text because they are currently experiencing it!
2. They Help Students Channel the Seasonal Excitement
There is something exciting for students to look forward to in every season of the school year. It might be Halloween in the fall, snow in the winter, Easter in the spring, or summer vacation as the weather warms up! You can channel this seasonal excitement into something productive for your students.
Seasonal reading passages can keep your students engaged in the content of the text because it’s something they are probably already thinking about. Rather than compete with that excitement, these reading passages can encourage students to channel that excitement into what they are reading. Students will be engaged in answering reading comprehension questions because it’s something they are excited to talk about.
3. They Help Students Activate Prior Knowledge
We all know how important it is for students to activate prior knowledge in order to increase comprehension and engagement. The best part about seasonal reading passages is that it takes much less time for students to activate their prior knowledge.
Since students are currently being exposed to those vocabulary words and concepts in their daily lives, they won’t need too much of a “refresher” before reading. When it’s easier for students to understand the vocabulary and concepts of a passage, they will be more engaged in reading.
4. They Share Fun New Facts
One of my favorite reasons to use seasonal reading passages is that students can learn fun new facts about something that already interests them. For example, they will be excited to learn the story behind the tradition of carving Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween!
It’s very satisfying for students to learn something new and interesting by reading it themselves. When students start to see that they can truly learn anything by reading, they will be more engaged in improving their reading skills.
5. They Can Be Used Throughout the Day
Finally, students can become more engaged in reading when it becomes a habit throughout the school day. Seasonal reading passages can be a fun addition to any part of your school day.
Morning Work – Students can read and respond to a seasonal reading passage when they arrive each morning. This can be a great way to ease into the school day!
Small Groups/Centers – Short, seasonal reading passages are an engaging addition to literacy centers or small group instruction!
Fast Finisher Activities – You can give each student a packet of seasonal reading passages to keep in their desk or cubby. They can pull out their packets whenever they have extra time throughout the day.
Homework – Seasonal reading passages can be a simple and engaging activity for students to take home each night. They can practice the literacy skills they are learning with fun seasonal homework assignments!
No matter how you decide to fit some seasonal reading activities into your school day, your students will be excited to read them! I have found that students enjoy reading seasonal passages at any point in the school day.
Seasonal Reading Passages for Young Readers
Would you like to try using seasonal reading passages to engage young readers in your classroom? I’d love to save you some time! I have created a bundle of seasonal reading passages that will help you keep your students motivated to read all year long! Each season comes with 20 high-interest reading passages of both fiction and non-fiction. These short, engaging reading activities will be a hit with your students throughout the school year!
Each passage also includes a variety of reading comprehension questions that will help your students practice text analysis strategies as well as written response skills. You can find this resource on Teachers Pay Teachers if you’d like to take a look at everything included in this resource!
Save These Tips for Engaging Young Readers
I hope you’ve found this post helpful as you look for ways to keep your students engaged in reading practice. Adding seasonal reading passages to your school day is just one more way that you can get your students excited about reading!
Be sure to add this pin to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to find these tips and resources whenever you need them quickly!