Have students write a collaborative poem or story using Twitter, IM, Edmodo or Facebook. This way, authors can contribute one word, one line, or several paragraphs.

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.


Summer reading ideas for the whole family

Posted on June 05, 2013 in Families, Literacy

A big thank you to the sweet moms who have sent me these snaps of their kiddos enjoying my books!

I loved these great snaps of Cooper reading Pedro’s Whale to his bunny! A great shared reading experience always makes me smile. That is one lucky bunny.

My friend, Miriam, sent me this fantastic photo of a very enthusiastic Griffin. Griffin also loves Pedro’s Whale, and Miriam says he thinks it was written about him and his love of manatees. I love how you think, Griffin!

Last but not least….here is little Cullen falling asleep to A is for All Aboard (notice he made it all the way to Z). Does this mean my writing puts people to sleep? :)

These fantastic photos bring me to the topic of this post—keeping kids reading this summer. Many parents may need ideas to motivate and support their children during long breaks, but parents of children with learning, communication, or physical disabilities may have even more challenges as these learners may not always be independent readers.

Here are a few ideas that can be used for those with and without identified needs:

  • Set goals; Your family might have a challenge of reading a short chapter book each week, for instance. Or kids might commit to reading or listening to books so many minutes each day.
  • Read to your children even during the summer months; this may seem obvious, but changes in routines can mean finding a set time for reading even more challenging. If this is the case for your family, sneak reading into your new activities. Stuff books in the beach bag. If you are doing a lot of driving this summer, read aloud in the car or give kids books to explore in the backseat. This may mean restricting or banning electronics during certain trips or segments of trips.
  • Sneak reading into the day; Are you taking your kids to tennis lessons, speech therapy, or camp each morning? Use this particular trip as an opportunity to play a great audio book. Or keep a book of poems at the kitchen table (like this fun collection from Bruce Lansky and Stephen Carpenter) or in your picnic basket. These short selections are perfect for reading again and again and, therefore, helpful for those needing fluency practice.
  • Encourage siblings to work and play together; one child needing practice reading aloud can read to a sister or brother who cannot easily read on his or her own. An older sibling learning a new piece of technology might be excited to read to a younger sibling using a switch or communication device.
  • Make a video; can’t get your kids away from technology this summer? Shoot a few videos of mom, dad, siblings, or friends reading favorite books and make the clips available on the computer or iPad. Some students who can’t easily sit in a parent’s lap and listen to a story are captivated by listening and seeing loved ones on “television”.
  • Read stories you write; after a trip to the pool, a day of bowling, or a weekend at the zoo, ask your kids to recall the experience in any way they want to communicate including telling stories, pointing to favorite pictures, or writing. Then put together a quick book about the day including snapshots and drawings. Favorite stories can even be published using a publishing program such as Snapfish or Shutterfly.

Other ideas? Feel free to share them here.


  1. From Stephanie Partyka on 5 Jun 2013

    My mother used to pick a wonderful chapter book like The Jungle Book or The Hobbit for camping trips or trips to visit my grandmother in Florida. The day always ended with a chapter, and she was able to get others in while we were driving. It gave us something to look forward to, and we carried over the vocabulary from the book during the day.

  2. From Rose-Marie on 5 Jun 2013

    What a great list, Paula! I love how little time these take to plan and carry out.

    Another way to sneak reading in on a rainy summer day when kids are trapped in the house (not that such things happen, right?) is to declare a “quiet time.” Turn on Closed Captioning with a favorite movie and mute the sound. A bonus is that there is no page turning required. Familiar movies provide scaffolding for those who need it or you can do the same with a new movie for those who appreciate more of a challenge. The only bummer with this is that you miss out on the great cinematic music scores and fun sound effects, but it’s a novel way to watch a movie.

  3. From Paula Kluth on 9 Jun 2013

    Love these ideas! Stephanie, this is a great reminder of the memories we make with reading. Rose-Marie, I would never have though of using the TV as a text!

  4. From Rose on 15 Jun 2013

    We usually do vacationing and outdoor type pursuits during the Summer. The kids don’t want to spend too much time sitting down reading. I find it helpful to incorporate the reading into our activities. Going to the oceanside during the Summer – maybe pick up some picks on seashells or tidal pools. Going to the forest – maybe use the local ecologists handouts to learn about the local flora or fauna. Doing BBQing – maybe read over some good recipes together and plan a meal. Read local travel guides to plan daytrips together.

  5. From Keep Your Family Reading This Summer | FIRST Hot News & Alerts on 23 Jul 2013

    […] Adapted from http://www.paulakluth.com/2013/06/05/summer-reading-ideas-for-the-whole-family/ This entry was posted in Autism Resources, Parent Training and tagged Autism Resources for […]