Reading helps to improve concentration and the ability to focus, as well as improving overall literacy. Reading for even a short time each day can also reduce stress and be a relaxing form of entertainment in what is a constantly busy and bustling modern world.

Using a reading log can be a fantastic way to encourage students to read for pleasure, making daily reading a habit for life. As an avid reader myself, I have used reading logs for many years to keep track of everything I read. It’s also a fun way to look back at all the books I’ve read –  whether I loved or loathed them.

You can download our free printable reading log templates to help kids begin their journey into loving reading.

Reading Log Templates

What is a reading log?

A reading log, also known as a reading journal, is a document used to keep track of your child’s or your student’s reading. It is essentially a place where a student can record all of the books they read.

The reading log can track a variety of things, such as the title of the book, the date the book was started, the number of pages read, and the time spent reading.

Reading logs are a great tool to promote reading as a consistent, daily habit for kids. They also give students a visual representation of their progress and help to encourage kids to read every day.

Make reading fun

  • In addition to this, you can also use reading journals as a classroom management tool. Students can receive stickers or stars if they read a certain number of pages per day, for example.
  • Developing a good reading habit at a young age can help to foster a love of reading in students. It encourages students to read outside of school, which is where reading can become a habit.
  • Using a reading log can then feel like a fun game or challenge for kids, in which they want to have a higher number of pages read each day or increase their minutes read. This encourages them to turn the page and keep reading even if they feel distracted. It can then stop kids from reaching for electronic devices instead.

You can use our free reading log templates and printable reading logs to minimize teacher workload and to allow students to decorate their reading log creatively if they wish.

Reading Journal Templates

How does a reading log work?

Building a reading habit doesn’t need to feel overwhelming.

Using a reading log template is a free and easy way to record data.

Kids should treat them like a reading journal, documenting their progress in a fun way.

All kids need to do to complete their reading journal is to follow these steps:

  1. Choose a book that sounds fun and interesting.
  2. Set aside dedicated reading time (even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes).
  3. Read the book!
  4. Write down the author’s name, the book title, and the amount of time spent reading or the number of pages read.
  5. Record any extra information that is included in the reading log, such as writing a short chapter summary.
  6. Have parents or guardians sign the reading log if necessary.

What should be included in a reading log?

There are many features you can include in a reading log.

Many printable reading logs and journal templates already come with a lot of these useful features, to help make reading as fun as possible for kids.

There are some aspects of a reading log that are necessary to track reading accurately and to support kids’ reading skills in the best way, such as including the date the book was started and finished, and the title of the book.

Consider the time frame of the reading log

  • Weekly or daily reading logs. If the reading journal is a weekly reading log or a daily reading log, then it is important to write down the number of pages read or minutes spent reading. This can give teachers a clearer insight into students’ progress.
  • Monthly reading logs. However, if the focus of the reading log is less on making reading a daily habit, but simply a more regular one, then you may choose not to include the minutes read or the number of pages This could be in the form of monthly reading logs instead. With this, you may opt for a simple date, title, and rating layout.

Essential things to include in a reading log

  • The book title and author of the book:
    Knowing the title can help teachers to assess whether the book is appropriate, as some books may be too challenging (or not challenging enough) and thus prevent a love of reading from growing.
  • Start and finish date:
    This is essential to help track how long it took the student to read the book in full, and encourages a weekly reading habit.
  • A rating or opinion:
    Kids should be encouraged to think critically about the fiction they are reading. You could include a star rating system in the reading log, or use facial expression emojis for students to circle depending on how much they enjoyed the book.

Fun things to include in a reading log

  • Minutes read or pages read: A fun way to encourage kids to love reading is by making it into a game or challenge. Setting a target, and documenting the minutes read not only helps teachers to track progress but will also give kids something to improve upon each time. Kids could also write down the page number they finished on, so they can continue reading where they left off.
  • A plot summary: Kids can write a short paragraph summary of the story of the book. This also highlights how much they absorbed the information in the book.
  • Favorite Scenes, characters, or quotes: Fiction books can be very engaging for kids, so let them share their thoughts in the reading log. Kids could also fill out the page numbers for their favorite scenes or quotes as a point of reference.
  • Genre: Encourage kids to learn about different books and genres by asking them to write down what genre they think the book fits into. At the end of the year, this can then be used to see what genres the kids preferred, which can then help you to decide which books to display in the classroom.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the book: Kids could write down three positive and three negative things about the book. This promotes critical thinking skills and gives students a chance to share their honest opinions.

Reading logs can also be used seasonally in the classroom. Many teachers give kids a reading log during summer break to promote reading during this time. Alternatively, you might choose to use a winter reading log or have reading logs focused on different yearly holidays.

Book Reading Logs

What are the benefits of a reading log?

Reading in any form is a positive habit for students to build.

If kids write in their reading logs consistently, then their reading time is becoming consistent, and this is a great start.

However, there are many benefits of reading logs besides simply encouraging kids to read.

1. Reading logs promote discipline

Reading logs, particularly for older students, are often used outside of school, independently. By having a duty to record their minutes read or pages read in the reading log, reading can be incorporated into the student’s routine and encourages them to have an independent task that parents or guardians are not involved with.

Kids must make time in their day to read so that they can write in their reading log. This focus on a structure can increase kids’ reading time, whilst giving them an opportunity to build self-discipline, which is an important skill for young learners to develop.

2. Students have autonomy over their own reading

Many of us will recall being ‘forced’ to read boring books in school. Reading logs help to eliminate this feeling of dread when having to pick up the school-assigned book.  Reading logs should give students the freedom to choose whatever book they wish to read (as long as it is age-appropriate).

Teachers can encourage students to use their school library or local library to choose from a wide range of books, and to choose a book based on their own interests.  There are so many fantastic children’s fiction books available, and a reading journal should be used in a way that gives students a chance to explore their local libraries and bookshops.

As a book lover, there is nothing more fun than wandering around a bookshop and choosing a new fiction book. Reading logs can be an opportunity to give students this wonderful experience for themselves.

3. A reading journal can help improve reading comprehension

Reading is a skill, and like all skills, they only improve with regular, consistent effort.

Writing in a reading log daily or weekly ensures that students are reading on a regular basis. This will undoubtedly help to improve reading comprehension, and allow students to understand the content of their chosen book more easily.

If you download a reading log or journal templates that include a section for a chapter or plot summary, or even a place for students to record their favorite characters or favorite scenes, this can definitely build reading comprehension ability.

With this, students have to remember key details from the book. It is a great way for teachers to track just how much students are absorbing from the book that they are reading.

4. Reading logs make reading fun!

Reading should be pleasurable. It should be viewed as a fun, exciting activity, and it is often a teacher’s dream to hear students thinking in this way.  Using reading log templates not only eases the strain of designing a unique reading log but is also a versatile, creative option.

There are many reading logs that you can download and customize to your liking, or you may wish to use printable reading logs and keep them as they are.  Kids can decorate their reading logs or use fun stationery to fill in their information. It sounds simple, but small outlets for creativity can make reading more fun for students who struggle to pick up a book.

How to use reading log templates

As a teacher, I understand the busy workload placed upon educators. There are many aspects of teaching to juggle, and creating brand-new resources can often add additional pressure to an already increasingly demanding schedule. Using reading log templates can help to minimize this workload, and also does not mean that the resources are low quality.

There are many unique, student-friendly reading logs that you can download to encourage reading among your students.

Choose a reading log template that suits you

You can choose from a range of fun printable reading logs to use in your classroom. Depending on the needs of your students, you can download a reading log design that is suitable for you.  If you prefer a reading log that requires students to fill in a lot of numerical data, such as pages read, then there is a printable reading log for you.

Maybe you prefer reading logs where students need to write about the book. We offer many free printable reading logs to download for this purpose.

Promote a love of reading with a printable reading log

Reading log templates are a fantastic resource, not only for educators but for anyone wishing to track their reading. Reading journals can also be used by parents to encourage their kids to read more at home.

You can choose to download from our range of free printable reading logs to best suit you.  I think everyone should experience the benefits of reading, and reading logs are an excellent way to get started, and can hopefully build a new generation of book lovers.

Happy reading!

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Tagged:JournalsKidsLogPersonalReadingReading logSchool
TemplateLab April 20th, 2023
Eleanor Griffiths
Eleanor Griffiths