To capitalize on the popularity of the Netflix Series Stranger Things during the Halloween season, I created a Stranger Library Reading Challenge. A fun and festive way to get students involved in reading at the school library. This challenge asks students to read opposites of tiles that they choose to help encourage a diverse reading list for themselves.
To create this challenge I started with a Canva Halloween template. Canva has a free educators subscription available to all teachers. Canva can be a really great resource for creating any kind of promotional materials, activities, or LMS banners/icons for your school library. Once I found the template, I recreated it to fit my vision of what the challenge would look like. I wanted some kind of play on opposites like the real world of Hawkins in the show vs. the surreal world of the Upside down under the town. Linked HERE is a copy of my finished challenge sheet.
I find the most difficult part of getting learners to participate in reading challenges is the promotion of them. If students don’t know about it, they can’t participate. When promoting this challenge I made sure to get the word out as much as possible. I provide paper copies at our Halloween book display at the entrance to the school library. I published a link to the challenge and a description in our monthly library newsletter. I seem to get more takers of activities when they have a physical copy to pick up, but I want to give as many options as possible.
Celebrating the season with a thematic reading challenge is a great way to motivate readers of all ages. Incorporating the fun of reading with a topic that might interest students is always well received. Encouraging students to read outside of the classroom, for enjoyment and relaxation, and in multiple genres is the ultimate goal of this Stranger Library Reading Challenge.
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.