Simply Read: Send them off to read the world with this poem

I'm exhausted, but just couldn't go to sleep tonight without writing something...
At the end of each school year, like many teachers, I always give my students a book to send them off reading for the summer.  As I've marveled in watching my now 4 year old son learn to read in part by simply devouring the world, I thought, why not spread a sense of his wonder?  Below, is what came out.  I envision teachers giving students a book and a copy of the poem, telling them the greatest wish they have for them this summer is simply to read...

Simply Read

Read like the wind.

Read everything you see.

Read boxes and bags

blocks and


The names of cars

foods in jars

cereal boxes



prices in aisles

labels on tins

or even people's skins…

Read thermometers




whatever it is that arrives in the mail

Read door signs

street signs

signs on stores

read where no reader has read before.

Reading’s all around you

all you need do is look

grow what you know about the world

and, yes, of course,


-Janiel Wagstaff, 2012

It's  very late, but I'll work on a printable teachers can use and post it for download soon. Have a great night...what did you read this eve? :)


  1. Font for the poem is KG Ray of Sunshine. I'll use the same on the printable I produce. :)

  2. Really wonderful, Janiel. I too used to give a book to each of my students, and loved choosing one just for them. Thanks for this!

  3. Thanks, Linda. Am paying for the late night already this morning (headache), but, it was worth it!
    Happy Friday to you there in Colorado--sunny morning here in UT!


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