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The Summer Assessment: How to Best Assess Summer Reading

written by: Sarah Degnan Moje • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 5/15/2015

When it comes to assessing a summer reading assignment, the methods can be as varied as the book choices themselves. Here are three different types of assessments.

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    How to Assess Summer Reading Assignments How are you going to grade students on their summer reading requirements?

    The Summer Reading Challenge:

    You can choose to issue a “Summer Reading" challenge, as described in the article “Choosing Books by Grade Level." A handout for how to implement this challenge is available for download here as well. This method does require the teacher to create several objective tests on the novels selected for each grade level, but the tests can be quick true or false or multiple choice assessments, as the point of the challenge is to earn points for a marking period grade.

    Download a guide here: Summer Reading Challenge

    Writing Assignments

    Another approach is to keep it writing-based but generic, so that you can use it repeatedly, no matter what grade level or novel you may be assessing. This method of assessment uses two different checkpoints –one objective and one writing-based—and asks students to answer both short and extended constructed response questions based around the books they read.

    Download an example: Generic Writing Assessment

    The writing assessment provides students with three quotes and a prompt for each quote. Students are then asked to write a five-paragraph essay that connects their book with the prompt they selected.

    Generic Assessments

    The objective part of this type of assessment asks students to complete five sentence answers on the plot, theme and message of the book followed by information regarding whether the student enjoyed the book and why. This is also a great tool when teachers are seeking to change or swap out titles within summer reading. If few readers enjoyed a specific book, it might be time to shelve it for a new title, no pun intended.

    Download an example assessment: Generic Objective Assessment

    The sample prompts and objective tests are both easy to download and will save you a great deal of work when it comes to preparing your program.

    Have you tried any of these ideas or have any of your own? Share in the comments!

Developing a Successful Summer Reading Program

This three-part series will help you create an effective summer reading program, including choosing the basis of your plan, selecting books and assessing completed assignments in the fall.
  1. Developing a Summer Reading Program for Middle & High School Students
  2. What to Read? Summer Book Suggestions by Grade Level
  3. The Summer Assessment: How to Best Assess Summer Reading