1.17 – RICH Reading Log (English Lesson)

RICH Reading Log honours Personal Choice Reading. Reading Indenpendent CHallenges is a form a Personal Choice Reading that students engage in during almost every class. It is an important experience that honours students’ journeys to become self-directed readers and learners. Every classroom benefits from having its own personal choice reading library. These can be filled from dollar stores, little free library boxes, libraries looking to weed their collection, or by reaching out to community organizations.

When creating your collection, ensure that you do not allow your own bias to limit the selections that are available for students. You can use my suggested booklists (which become more out of date every year) to help guide you on your way.

My own collection includes: Babysitter Club books, Forgotten Realms novels, science fiction, romance, cook books, Game Pro magazines from 1993, whatever comics I could get my hands on over the past decade of Free Comic Book Day, art and poster books, the visual history of Nintendo coffee table book, and so much more.

The important thing is that my students see themselves reflected in the library, so that if they have not brought in a paper text of their own to engage with, there’s always something waiting for them in the classroom.

English Course Pack: Unit One – Literacy Skills

This assignment is part of the The Full English Course Park. This piece is part of Unit One: Literacy Skills, which focuses on creating a strong foundational understanding of literacy skills, PEE paragraph writing, and embedding quotations as textual support.


If you would like to say thanks, consider buying me a coffee. But that is neither required, nor expected.


1.17 – RICH Reading Log

Step One: Understanding the RICH Reading Log

First things first, I want to take a moment to walk you through the multi-paged guide. This is a 12 page document, formatted to be printed front and pack (creating a final product of 6 stapled pages of paper). If you’re wondering why the second page is blank, that’s why – it’s the back of the title page.

Short Written Pieces

Things are about to get complicated when talking about pages, but: Pages 3 – 8 (which will be pages 2 – 4 once printed, and are pages 1 – 6 based on the numbering on the pages themselves) are daily reflection pieces that students can complete in any order they wish. Some days they might feel like questioning, while on another they may have a strong connection to create. Having choice in how they approach their reading log is an important part of RICH Reading.

Tracking Reading Speed

From here on, I’ll only mention the actual document pages (The title page is page 1, and the Future Reading List is page 12).

You will notice that students are asked to track their reading speed when they complete the following short written pieces:

  • Summarizing
  • Determining Importance
  • Visualizing

This introduces a little bit of numeracy, while also providing students with a tool to engage with their own reading on their own time. It also creates an ongoing record of their speed as they progress from RICH Reading Log to RICH Reading Log throughout the year.

Incremental growth can be difficult to track when it happens slowly, but can be a powerful reminder that a little bit of effort every day pays off over time.

The Long Response

Pages 9 – 10 present students with a differentiated three-part activity. Students will engage with a pre- during- and post-reading experience. How students choose to approach this task is completely up to them. And, when they choose to complete it is fine too. If they want to complete the long response first, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t or couldn’t.

Differentiation is key to building student engagement.

The Long Response

Page 11 features a book review page. There are three places for students to write reviews based on the books they have read over the course of this package. If students have stuck to one book for the whole time, that’s not a problem. If they’ve enjoyed multiple books, they can record the ones that stand out to them.

Future Reading List

Page 12 – the back cover – provides space for students to create a future reading list. Providing opportunities for students to discuss what they’ve been reading informally, or through formal presentations of their reviews, creates a space for students to learn from others, and create their own reading wish list.

Step Two: Providing Time for RICH Reading Logs

I try to begin every class with fifteen to twenty minutes of Personal Choice Reading. While this is a large chunk of class time, it is a perfect Minds On opportunity that provides multiple entry points, and builds of a predictable framework for classroom time.

This time can be used to suggest options for students, such as “I suggest you use these twenty minutes to read your essay novel.” but, ensure that the final choice is always up to them.

After the personal choice reading, a ten minute timeslot can be provided to engage with their reading by filling out an entry in the RICH Reading Log. Some teachers provide RICH Reading Logging time once a week, while others provide this opportunity daily.

Step Three: Evaluating the RICH Reading Log

There are two ways to approach the evaluation. One way is to add one RICH Reading Log to your mark book, and let the strongest demonstration of skills count as a Reading and Writing mark, while the other option is simply to use these logs as a redemonstration of skills, filling in gaps in your grade book.

Students should feel comfortable handing in these logs, and taking a new blank one whenever they want. By removing the pressure from this as an activity, you continue to develop autodidacts who engage with the literacy skills, because they see the value of engaging with their texts.

Step Four: Moving Forward

So that’s the RICH Reading Log. Where you want to go with this is up to you. This is an optional assignment, for an optional framing of your class. I use it, because I think it is an effective tool, but there are reasons and frameworks that other people use that would make this a difficult piece to bring forward into their program.

As always, this is just one more tool that you can use or modify.

the classroom as they move through the rest of this unit.

The Impact

As mentioned, this activity allows students to engage with texts throughout your entire course, in whatever way they see fit.

They will track their reading, engage with their reading, and continuously spiral through their literacy skills.

Unit One is now complete – with or without the optional tasks!


English – Unit One: Literacy Skills


English Course Packs: Full Units

Unit One: Literacy Skills
Unit Two: Poetry (In Progress)
Unit Three: Literature Circles (In Progress)
Unit Four: Creative Writing & Choose Our Way Tales (In Progress)
Unit Five: Essay Writing (In Progress)
Unit Six: Culminating Tasks (In Progress)



Written by…

Michael Barltrop has been teaching since 2006, integrating comics, video games, and TTRPGs into his classroom. He has been the head of English, Literacy, and Universal Design. Feel free to reach out through Twitter @MrBarltrop!

Feel free to support the website hosting by buying him a coffee or sharing this post on facebook, twitter, or whatever social media is trending these days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s