Do you have a reader at your house? Or maybe you have someone at your house that you would like to be a reader! My kids love to read books and “play out the books”. A summer Literary Adventure is a great way to get kids immersed in stories.
If you are a unit study homeschooler, then chances are you already work with books and know all sorts of ways to enjoy them. A literary adventure isn’t so much a unit study as a way to introduce some fun things to kids without carrying out a big unit study- unless, of course, they want to!
Today I’m sharing all sorts of ideas on how to enjoy books together. If you need more tangible help, then check out the books on books resources I’ve shared. Many of you will find your children will love to explore given the right inspiration and materials.
What Books Do I Choose for a Literary Adventure?
There are a lot of ways to go about choosing a book, but you’ll definitely want to conference with your student about it before making choices. Here are a few ideas:
- Choose a theme for your books– nautical/sailing, for example
- Newberry Honor Books– choose a selection of Newberry books or try to read through them all (for the ambitious)
- Choose an author– and read through his/her books. We once chose to read through Jules Verne books.
- Book series– such as Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Redwall, Inheritance
- Classics– choose to read some classics. You could read a certain number or go by them or time period or author with this idea.
As a family we’ve been reading aloud through the Swallows & Amazons series of books. There’s nothing but good old fashioned grand adventure in these books! Everyone from the 7yo to the 14yo loves to get lost in these stories. We had to learn a bit of sailing vocabulary and we’ve learned that tea time is serious business for the English!
It inspired a few kids to begin reading Robinson Crusoe since the characters in the book often refer to him. R12 created the patterns for the Swallows & Amazons flags and made them. She never leaves home for an adventure without them. Swallows & Amazons Forever!
R12 even entered her creations into the 4-H Fair last summer. Books are such a great starting place for make believe and adventurous play! Allow your kids to choose and run with a project. Be the mentor and have them create and research what they want to explore from a book.
Some Resources for Helping You to Choose Great Books:
- Honey for a Child’s Heart – the original book on books and still a lovely book
- Honey for a Teen’s Heart– fabulous book on books for older kids and how to use books to communicate with teens
- The Read Aloud Handbook– great book on reading aloud and why to do it along with an anthology of good stories
- Read for the Heart: Whole Books for Wholehearted Families – probably my favorite book on books ever!
Resources for Choosing and Enjoying Book Adventures:
- Five in a Row – literature based unit studies for ages preschool to age 12 (incidentally our core curriculum through middle school)
- Picture Book Activities by Trish Kuffner
- Games with Books by Peggy Kaye
- The Lion Preparatory Academy– a unit study on the Narnia series (if this interests you, send me an email and I’ll get you in touch with the author)
- Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings– literature studies for The Lord of the Rings (warning: not super project oriented)
- The Prairie Primer– activities for the Little House series
- One Year Adventure Novel– masterfully written creative writing program which helps you to enjoy story and learn what makes a good story.
Activities to Encourage During a Literary Adventure:
- Write his own story
- Dress up– even older kids like the chance to make costumes. My daughter recently made Martin’s shield and belt/hilt for Redwall play (for her youngest brother J7 who is reading the series)
- Make Maps– my kids adore map making. You can create your own or provide real maps or outline maps
- Cook– make story inspired food
- Watch the movie– if it’s a book with a movie, watch it when the book is over on a hot summer afternoon
- Puzzles– make them or purchase them. Many books have puzzles- especially picture books
- Puppet Shows– my kids often make puppets. Sometimes they are elaborate paper mache type puppets, some are fabric and sewn, and some are simple shadow puppets
- Make Videos– whatever creative thing they do, they can make a video of themselves or of stop motion animation.
- Crafts– many books lend themselves to crafty activities whether its something they make in the book or something that is inspired by the book
- Book clubs– perhaps you have some friends who would like to join you in a literary adventure
Where Can I Buy Fun Book Related Items?
The Dollar Tree and the dollar aisle at Target- They have inexpensive items which go along with books. For younger children there are often sticker sheets and stamps, fun paper, etc.
Rainbow Resource & other Homeschool Shops- There are games that go along with books like Around the World in 80 Days and Eric Carle games, etc. You might also find a great craft theme or another activity that would be suitable to drop in the basket. Remember to keep it fun!
A Literary Adventure is a great way to encourage reading and have some fun with a book. It provides for excellent opportunities to discuss books with your kids and join with them in some fun.
Whether you choose to send your child on the adventure alone or join them with some related read alouds, prepare to lose yourself in story this summer with a Literary Adventure Box!
Be sure to check out the other bloggers who are sharing a series this week through iHN’s Spring 2013 Hopscotch.