Teen Read Week happens annually in October. Started in 1998 by the Young Adult Library Services Association and typically observed the week of Columbus Day, Teen Read Week’s purpose is simple – to encourage teens to read.
If you have avid readers, they may not need encouragement. For the rest of us, I’ve brainstormed 10 ways to celebrate Teen Read Week.
1. Visit your local library. Because Teen Read Week was started by the Young Adult Library Services Association, chances are most mid-sized and larger libraries will have some activities planned for the week. If not, you can still pick up some new books to read while you’re there.
2. Play reading bingo. I created a reading bingo card for my kids when they were younger, but it’s easily adaptable to teens. When you make the modifications for Teen Read Week, keep in mind that most teens will be reading books that won’t necessarily be completed in a week (not 5 different types, at least) so you may want to give them options for chapters completed or time/number of days spent reading.
3. Read aloud. Just because teens are capable of reading on their own doesn’t mean that family read-aloud time should end. Choose a book that you can all enjoy and snuggle up for some family time each evening.
4. Read a book and watch its movie adaptation. There are so many options for book/movie adaptation combos. You’ve got dozens of choices in the young adult genre alone such as Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, The Giver, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Twilight, and Divergent.
5. Read a related classic. If your teen has recently read a modern book that references a classic, encourage her to read the classic so that she can fully understand the reference. The Twilight series sparked an interest in Shakespeare for my oldest and she read each of the Shakespeare titles referenced in the four Twilight books, ultimately reading nearly all of Shakespeare’s works.
6. Find fun ways to tie reading into your regular schoolwork. Okay, okay. We’re homeschoolers, so I know most of us already do this, but I love incorporating engaging books with what we’re already studying. It makes a simple method for planning a high school reading list, but even if you don’t use it to plan an entire list, for Teen Read Week why not find a captivating historical fiction, biography or related literature title to tie in to what you’re studying?
7. Take a reading day – or a reading week! I love Sara’s idea for taking regular reading days and Teen Read Week is the perfect time to give it a try if you’ve never done it. You might even turn it into a reading week. We might be pleasantly surprised at what our kids learn simply by immersing themselves in some great books.
8. Start a series. Encourage your teens to read the first book in a series that sounds intriguing to them. Sometimes, getting hooked on a series is all it takes to turn a reluctant reader into a voracious one.
9. Try an audio book. If you’ve never tried audio books – or it’s been awhile – give them a try this week. Encourage your teens to listen while doing other quiet activities such as drawing, painting, crafting, or walking on the treadmill or around the neighborhood.
10. Host a family book club. Try a family book club for a week. Secure a few copies of the same book (or give everyone their own bookmark, but that gets tricky), allow everyone to read it individually and discuss it at the end of the week.
Do you have ideas for ways to celebrate Teen Read Week? We’ve got almost a week to plan, so leave them in the comments!
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.