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8 Fun Reading Log Alternatives

Try these 8 reading log alternatives with your students to encourage critical thinking and engagement in your classroom.

Have you considered using reading log alternatives to hold your students accountable for their reading?

Reading logs are not fun for anyone. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I have a feeling that if you are reading this post, you feel the same way.

Students aren’t always honest about their reading habits, parents have to try to keep track, teachers have to check them, and the list against this practice keeps getting longer each year. 

Reading logs do not hold students accountable because they can write in that they read pages 45-190, but how can you tell if they really did or not? You’re thinking, there has got to be another way to get students reading. I have a list of reading log alternatives for you to try with your students. 

Reading Log Alternatives

In this blog post, The Comprehensive 100-Minute Literacy Block in the Intermediate Classroom, I share how I use a reading journal to keep students accountable for their reading.

Reading Journal Assignment

Reading Journals

More along the lines of the traditional reading assignments, but with a modern flare, is the Reading Journal Assignment. This resource will help your students to organize their thoughts while reading independently and choose their books with more intention. 

This resource contains: 

  • Genre Checklist 
  • Book Log
  • Books Lists
  • Monthly Reading Goals 
  • Reading Reflection Sheets 
  • Reading Conferences Tracking Sheet
  • Reading Conferences Questions For Fiction And Non-Fiction Books

This assignment helps students set goals and see where they are going with their reading. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

In addition to the weekly/bi-weekly reading journal students complete, I like to assign a creative reading response assignment for them to work on to add variety to their reading assignments. 

Book Unboxing

Book Unboxing

We’ve all seen them; unboxing videos are everywhere on social media! Students love watching their favourite YouTubers or influencers unbox anything and everything. 

Jump on the trend and add this Book Unboxing Assignment as one of your reading log alternatives. Students will essentially act like a YouTuber or influencer and “unbox” 3-5 books from a cardboard box. 

The point of unboxing videos is to sell the viewer the products, and that is exactly what students will be doing for their books. They will tell the class all about the book and why they should read it. 

Learn more about this resource in this blog post Get Students Excited About Reading. This trend is one that students and teachers will love to use in class! Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

Digital Reading Check-Ins

Digital Reading Check-In

Whether you’re teaching in-person or virtually, you can utilize these Digital Reading Check-Ins for your class. These options give students a way to share what they are reading and get them invested in learning more. These digital reading log alternatives are perfect for middle school students because they love using technology.

In this Digital Reading Check-Ins pack, you get 5 different options: digital reading check-in (Google Form), Digital Bookshelf (Google Slides), Single Student Camera Reading Check-In (Google Slides), Whole-Class Camera Reading Check-In (Google Slides), and Digital Classroom Reading Check-In (Google Slides). 

You can look into all the options and choose what will work best in your classroom. Students will love the creativity and personalization of this reading log alternative. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

Book Talks

Book Talks

We can all probably admit that getting middle school students enthusiastic about anything can be difficult at times. So how in the world can we get them excited about books? Let them make it about them! 

This Book Talk assignment gives students the chance to persuade their peers to read or not to read the book of their choice. Students will tap into their creativity and will present their argument while dressed up like a character from the book or a librarian, etc. 

Students have several different opportunities in this assignment to choose their own way to make their project their own. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

12 Genre Book Reports

12 Genre Book Reports

With over 300 reviews, this resource is a super popular option that teachers love when it comes to reading log alternatives! Book reports are something we have all probably done or assigned over time; however, this 12 Genre Book Report Assignment gives book reports new life! Each assignment enables students to showcase their creativity while meeting curriculum standards. 

This assignment is designed so that every 3 months, the structure rotates to help students achieve proficiency while still giving students a choice in their learning. The different assignment types are written response, creative choice board, oral presentation, student-created lesson, and traditional literature vs fractured fairy tales. 

Find this reading log alternative resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers give students a tangible way to visualize what is happening in their reading and help them keep the timeline, characters, and events organized. They can sometimes be a student’s best friend when it comes to reading and comprehending what they have read. Graphic organizers are great reading log alternatives.

  • Informational Text Graphic OrganizersIf you are teaching non-fiction, have your students use these Informational Text Graphic Organizers to share what they have learned. 27 different graphic organizers are included in this resource. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
  • Non-Fiction Graphic Organizers This resource contains 14 different graphic organizers to help students organize their thinking about ANY non-fiction book or article. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
  • Reading Strategies Graphic OrganizersThis resource is a collection of 6 different graphic organizers to help students engage, connect and think critically about their reading. Students can write directly on the graphic organizers, or they can collect their thoughts on sticky notes and use the graphic organizers as a study tool. Find this resource for free here.

Compare and Contrast the Book to the Movie

Book vs Movie

How many times have your students said they just watched the movie instead of reading the book? It is a very rare occurrence that the movie is exactly like the book. So, why don’t we teach students the difference and how to compare movies to books? 

This Book vs Movie Comparison Analysis Project gives students the opportunity to compare the similarities and differences between books and movies. Students love watching movies in class, and this is a perfect way to have a few movie days with purpose. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

Book Flatlay Project

Book Flatlay

A book flatlay, or book bento, is a fun project where students use tangible objects to represent their book. This is a fun and creative way for students to share their knowledge of their book without it feeling like a “real” book report. 

This project has the same aspects as a book report, but it allows students to be creative, select objects that represent different parts or characters in their book and take a photo to showcase these objects. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

Traditional reading logs are a thing of the past, but holding students accountable for their reading is still necessary. Use these, or your own, reading log alternatives to keep students engaged and excited about reading.  

For some students, a love for reading comes from home, but you can instill this love in your students by using these projects. Try some of these reading log alternatives today! 

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