Beanstack Originals: Spring & Summer Short Stacks Reading Challenges

Masthead Waves

We’re thrilled to unveil the upcoming Short Stacks reading challenges for spring and summer 2023! Our next six challenges span each month from April to September, and are chock-full of accessible and riveting tales about animals, history, nature, and more. The data-driven topics, seamless content integration, and easy reading tracking within these Short Stacks challenges all work together to ignite a love of reading and learning that lasts a lifetime.

Short Stories, Big Impact

Short Stacks challenges get students in grades 3–5 hooked on reading with fact-filled stories along engaging and curriculum-aligned themes. At this critical time for developing and practicing foundational reading skills, Short Stacks help students develop their vocabulary and grow their word recognition skills. And, most importantly, the short stories and rewarding challenge badges reinforce kids’ reading habits.


For teachers, these challenges are a lightweight and attention-grabbing way to bring reading into any classroom and subject. Each challenge includes four short stories, complete with pictures and little-known facts that bring the topics to life, and four unique badges for students to unlock as they read and log. The varied subject matter spans science, technology, history, diverse cultures, and more—all specifically selected based on common curriculum standards and engagement data.


“The Short Stacks are very popular with teachers and students,” said Diane Aiken, middle school librarian at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans. Teachers there incorporate the reading challenges into fifth grade social studies and geography courses in short 15-minute segments.


Best of all, the reading content is integrated right into premade reading challenges, making it easy for students to read and for teachers to implement in the classroom and beyond. The interaction and reading tracking tools built into the platform, like the read-aloud function and automatic reading timer, create an intuitive and engaging experience. All of these features make Short Stacks a gateway to solid independent reading habits and a lifetime of reading exploration. 

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Spring ’23 Short Stacks Up Close

April: Captivating Critters

Welcome springtime with a Short Stacks challenge all about animals! April’s stories cover baby animals, animal families, birds of all shapes and sizes, and some pretty incredible insects. Kids can absorb quirky critter facts while learning about the diversity of life in the animal kingdom and key differences between mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects. 


May: Tip-Top Teachers

Our May Short Stacks challenge honors Teacher Appreciation Month, and highlights how teachers’ important work can have a lasting impact on their students, communities, and even the entire world. A compilation of biographies highlight historic movers and shakers who were teachers, including Anne Sullivan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Desmond Tutu, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. 


June: Marine Marvels

This challenge takes readers on their very own ocean vacation with a collection of stories about marine life and ecosystems. Its four stories travel from the sharks and whales in the ocean’s depths to vibrant coral reefs and bustling beaches. Students learn about different types of fish and marine mammals, as well as the importance of ocean conservation.

Summer ’23 Short Stacks Up Close

July: On This Day: Fourth of July
Our July challenge delves into different historical and scientific dimensions of the Fourth of July to capture a wide range of students’ interests. The four Short Stacks stories cover the origins of the national anthem and the American flag, the science behind fireworks, and some of the more unusual Fourth of July traditions around the United States.

August: Incredible Nature

Students can discover the amazing and wacky wonders of the natural world in this month’s Short Stacks reading challenge. From the weirdest weather and most impressive natural formations to life at the poles and the science of volcanoes, readers will delight in learning more about geography, weather patterns, and other aspects of Earth science.


September: Animals on the Move

Our September Short Stacks challenge shines a light on the many migrations and movements in the animal kingdom. Students can immerse themselves in tales of epic yearly migrations over land, water, and air, as well as stories of some of the more unusual non-migratory travels that some unique creatures undertake.


Connect Your Students to These Awesome Stories and More

Our upcoming slate of Short Stacks reading challenges are available to all Beanstack customers. And school partners can easily pair them with our ebook reading challenges to provide a steady stream of diverse, engaging, and integrated reading content to all your students and schools. Not a Beanstack partner, but want to connect your community to our world-class content and challenges? Reach out today!

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