This October my fall/Halloween themed reading challenge is Fall Under a Reading Spell. Each month I create a reading challenge for our teens that promotes the joy of reading. This reading challenge could be used to any grade level of students.
To create this challenge I started on Canva. If you don’t already have a free educators account, it’s a great resource for material creation. I knew I wanted something under the Halloween theme, so I searched terms like Halloween, witches, fall, bats to get some sparks of inspiration. When I came across a cauldron activity, I knew that this could be a fun way to add some Halloween spirit and creativity into the reading.
In this challenge students read 4 different books of their choice during the month. Each book is recorded in a vial above the cauldron. After reading, the students create a name for their potion that the 4 vials create. They create a description of the purpose of their spell to go along with the title and recorded books.
Getting the word out to students to get participation can be challenging. I make the reading challenge accessible digitally and in print. I put direct links for students on the LRC webpage and in the digital monthly LRC newsletter. Print copies I have available at the front circulation desk, as well as on our front school library display of Halloween/Fall books. Word of mouth is also a great way to generate interest. When I do book talks all month long I start them off by sharing library news and updates. I always add in info about the monthly reading challenge and have physical copies available for students to take right then.
Offering students themed challenges each month promotes the enjoyment of reading. Any age group benefits from the reinforcement that reading can be fun, not always just for an assignment. The Fall Under a Reading Spell Challenge will get students reading and falling under the magic spell of reading for fun.
Author: Elizabeth Libberton
Elizabeth Libberton is the library media specialist at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles Illinois. She currently writes book reviews for School Library Journal. She is a member of the ALA Awards Selection Committee. Also, she is a member of the steering committee for the AISLE Lincoln Book Award.