Before I dive into listing some great reading enrichment activities for elementary students, I should probably take some time to discuss what exactly enrichment is. When we refer to enrichment in education, we are usually talking about activities that go beyond regular classroom instruction and focus on expanding upon knowledge. In short, enrichment activities are ones that “enrich” the educational experience. For a more in-depth explanation on educational enrichment and its importance, see some of our past blog posts about the topic:
- 5 Amazing Benefits of Enrolling your Child in an After School Enrichment Program
- Why You Should Supplement your Child’s Public Education with an After-School Enrichment Program
- 10 Terrific Things Students Can Gain from After-School Enrichment Programs
- After-School Enrichment Programs vs. After-School Tutoring Programs: Comparing the Costs
Whether you are an expert in the field of educational enrichment or not, I believe that we can mostly all agree upon the fact that it is important and almost certainly something all students can benefit from. That being said, let’s take a look at 10 great reading enrichment activities for elementary-aged students!
10 Reading Enrichment Activities for Elementary Students:
1. Join an English Enrichment Program:
Check out your local area for an after-school enrichment program that will allow your student to stay focused and challenged in English all year through.
2. Sign up for an Enrichment Camp:
It almost goes without saying that summer is a great time to check out enrichment camps that will help expand your child’s reading and writing knowledge, but some areas may even offer year-round camps and after-school programs. Check them out!
3. Tackle a Reading List:
The benefits of reading cannot be denied, and developing strong reading habits is a great way to enrich a growing mind. Check out some recommended elementary reading for 4th graders, some for 5th graders, and even the “Ultimate 2017 Summer Reading List.” And while you’re at it…
4. Join a Reading Program:
Most libraries and even some popular restaurants and stores offer free summer reading programs for students. Allow your child to see a more tangible result of his/her hard work by receiving rewards through these programs.
5. Level Up by Trying your Hand at a Reading Challenge:
A simple Google or Pinterest search will yield countless results for different reading challenges your students can complete. There are challenges for nearly every age group and genre fan, so no matter the age of your children, their reading levels, or their interests, you are sure to find the perfect challenge for them! Check out this example from “Smiths on the Coast.”
6. Become a Teacher:
Seriously! In researching for this post, I came across a great post from “Miss Giraffe’s Class” about how to keep more advanced students engaged and learning, and I loved her strategy for letting students teach the class. Now, you may not be able to control how your child’s teacher runs the classroom, but you don’t need to! No matter what level your children are, they can benefit from teaching others what they have learned. This allows them to expand their knowledge by thinking about topics in a different way, and also by forcing them to think about how to explain them to others. So pull up a chair every so often after your child gets home from school, and let him or her teach you a thing or two!
7. Complete a Project:
Pinterest is a great resource for searching for projects that take English and reading class to the next level. Search “Enrichment Activities” for projects and hands-on learning activities that combine reading and writing with skills used in other school subjects. Need somewhere to start? Why not create a new animal as shown in a post from “I Love 2 Teach”?
8. Keep Writing:
Though many students don’t prefer it, writing is a great way to boost creative thought and communication skills. Luckily, in this day and age, there are all sorts of ways students can be inspired to write in a way that feels less like work and more like play. One example is this free download for a “Roll-A-Story” sheet, which helps your child come up with ideas for his or her own original story.
Even the most disciplined student still needs some play time; however, you can make the most of this time by creating fun environments that are also engaging and educational. Visit a couple of my past posts for a list of free online reading and writing websites that feel like fun and games:
10. Be Prepared:
Many times, you may find that your child has finished his or her work very quickly, or that topics are very easy for them to understand, leaving them bored. Be prepared for these times by having some activities on hand that your child can complete when this happens. Once again, Google and Pinterest are great resources to find free sheets that deal with any number of topics for “fast finishers” or “gifted” students. Pro tip: make sure the activities you choose deal with the topic your child is focused on. The goal should be to expand upon the topic and to explore it on a deeper level, not to force busy work.
What do you think? What are the best ways to provide reading enrichment for children? How do you provide enrichment for your children at home? We would love to hear from you in the comments!
Author: Emily Karth, Writer and Teacher at A Grade Ahead