Reading competition ideas for the classroom

Written by jessica cook
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Reading competition ideas for the classroom
Make reading into a competition and students will find the time to read throughout the day. (reading image by max blain from

Kids love a challenge, so why not combine that passion with the lesson plans for your classroom? When you make reading into a competition, kids who otherwise wouldn't want to read will be excited to read as much as they can. Find ways to incorporate reading competition ideas into your classroom and you'll find a new group of reading fans in your midst.

Other People Are Reading

Raise Funds

Turn a reading competition into a way to raise funds for your classroom or school. Give students a reading goal sheet and ask them to collect donations from family, friends and neighbours. Adults can pledge a certain monetary amount per book read or a flat fee for the whole competition. Then as students read they can record their progress on a log or chart and use that to collect their donations after the reading competition is over. The money can be used to buy new books for the classroom or school to renew kids' interest in reading all over again.

Personal Goals Challenge

Sometimes a single classroom will have students who read voraciously while others struggle with reading on even a basic level. In order to even out this playing field, have students work with the teacher to set individual reading challenges. A strong reader might challenge herself to read 10 books in two weeks while a slower or reluctant reader might try to read one new book at a higher reading level than what he has read before. When students meet their own challenges they win points in the competition, so no one has to compete on exactly the same level as someone else.

Milestones and Major Rewards

One way to encourage students to read more is to reward them as they go. Give small prizes, such as stickers or bookmarks, for every book a student reads. When he hits a larger milestone, such as finishing five books or 100 pages, give him a larger reward such as a free homework pass or a visit to the classroom prize box. Sometimes you can even ask local businesses to donate prizes, such as coupons for free meals at restaurants or video rentals. These types of incentives will keep kids engaged in a reading challenge all year long. Track the progress that students make, and at the end of the year hold an award ceremony for family and friends to show off what they have done.

Around Town

Bring reading into the community by challenging your students to read in creative ways. Give students a reading scavenger hunt to complete, such as reading a book in public, reading a book to younger students and reading to residents in a retirement home. Challenge students to read as many pages as they can in one weekend, or to get their own library cards and bring them in to show you in order to win a prize. These types of activities work for students on any reading level, so no one has to feel left out of the competition. What's more, they remind students that reading isn't just for classroom use, it's for any time and any place.

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