Pick Your Own

Summer is the season for pick your own fruits and veggies. If you have a garden and a green thumb, maybe you're harvesting the fruits of your own labor. If you're lucky enough to live near a farm that offers pick your own outings, you can enjoy some deliciously hand-picked produce (with a safe physical distance from other pickers).

Blueberry Bunch on a branchHave you noticed that the fruits you pick yourself stay fresh longer? And is it just us, or do they taste better too? You can be as picky as you want when you're in charge of each blueberry that gets dropped into the bucket. If you're a home gardener, don't the tomatoes from your own carefully cultivated plants seem extra plump and perfect?

The same general ideas are true for students who choose their own books. Give them a wide library of options and let them pick their own titles to enjoy. They'll be more likely to listen longer, listen for understanding and think about the story even when they're not listening to it. While they're listening, let them pick a listening activity they like, and they'll be hooked!

For younger students, we recommend the Characters and Series section of the Stories browser. Kindergarteners and 4th graders alike will happily recognize familiar cover art and characters and be able to go back for subsequent stories. Middle schoolers and teenagers will find that the Subject Areas let them choose a topic they like and find other similar titles. They can experiment with different narrators and enjoy unrelated titles by the same author.

Some Summer Series Suggestions

Toby's Story cover art

A Dog's Purpose Stories by W. Bruce Cameron

Heartwarming novels from the beloved and New York Times bestselling A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. These are inspiring tales for young animal lovers.





Akimbo and the Elephants cover artThe Akimbo Adventures by Alexander McCall Smith

Classic adventure tales from the bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Imagine living in the heart of Africa. Imagine living in a place where the sun rises every morning over blue mountains. Akimbo and his parents live on the edge of an African game reserve. It's his father's task to protect the thousands of amazing animals who make it their home, and wildlife-loving Akimbo dreams of helping him. In these three adventures, Akimbo protects elephants from poachers, saves a lion cub from a trap, and rescues a man from a crocodile!

Enola Holmes The Missing Marquess cover art



The Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer

Enola Holmes might be the much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes, but she manages to outsmart him at every turn, creatively solving mysteries of her own.



Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus cover art

The Pigeon Series by Mo Willems

When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you've never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate. BONUS: Mo Willems was the Kennedy Center's first Education Artist-in-Residence, with lots of videos and draw alongs. Find out more here.


Are you planning for distance learning? Looking for more distance and hybrid learning ideas? 


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