To challenge my children to step outside of their reading comfort zone, we’ve been working on the Badges for Books genre reading challenge. Badges for Books is a simple way to encourage a diverse diet of reading, and I’ve found it allows my children to each choose books at their own reading level to complete the reading challenge.
What is Badges for Books?
Badges for Books is a simple two-page double-sided booklet with recording lines for books of different genres and subject. It allows students (or parents!) the chance to record a variety of books as they challenge themselves to read more variety.
The genres I’ve included are the following: Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Science, Sports, Animals, Best Friends, Scary, Funny, Biography, Poetry, History, and three “Your Choice” categories. When a child finishes a book in each category, I cut out a colorful circle for him or her to paste into the booklet. When all of the badges have been glued in, the student gets a simple certificate of completion!
Why Do a Genre Reading Challenge?
I started the Badges for Books challenge when I was working with a co-op elementary level class. It’s a challenge to work with kids from ages 5 to 10. They are at all different levels! But my goal was to help the kids in class learn to approach literature, and really any book they read, with a critical eye. Can they predict what happens? Can they see the evidence in the text to support their arguments?
I have found that many picture books can be read and appreciated by all ages, so we read them together in class and discuss them. Both the younger and older kids have been getting something out of this class. By giving them a challenge to read a variety of genres, they are expanding their options and experimenting to find out what they like the most. It has been a very fun experience to see what books each child chooses.
Do you do any kind of reading challenge with your students?