Mo' Ideas

Bedtime Reading Session

Pick a day or evening to hold a “bedtime reading” time at your school. This is an easy and fun event for everyone. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring a teddy bear, along with their favorite book. If this is a family event, then they should be encouraged to bring their favorite readers, too! The only rule for this event is to find a comfortable spot, cuddle up and read! Refreshments are cookies and milk, of course!

When done as a school, the entire evening event would take about an hour. Fifteen-twenty minutes for a whole group read aloud. The same amount of time would be needed for the cuddle up and read time. End the evening with cookies and milk!

Beach Blanket Reading Session

Another variation that is fun to do in the dead of winter is a “beach blanket reading time” complete with bathing suits, sunglasses and beach towels. This is fun to do as a school and even more fun if the teachers and parents dress up as well. Of course, you may have to select your “beach reading” a bit more carefully than you might in the summertime. Refreshments are lemonade and watermelon, what else!

Story Questions

Students are given a book related question with their morning message. Answers are written on a piece of paper with the students name and grade. The answers are dropped in a box in a central place. Each day several papers are drawn out. Students receive a token prize–bookmarks, pencils, and stickers.

Breakfast with Books

You may want to enlist your parent group of volunteers for this activity. Choose a day to hold a breakfast with books. Provide doughnuts and juice and invite the children to come with a book to talk about while they eat and drink their treats. The kids love it. Make a list of all the books that were shared for all the kids.

Literary Luncheons

This can be done school-wide or classroom-by-classroom. Designate a day or two for a literacy luncheon. The library is a great place to hold this if your librarian is willing. Children bring their lunch and a book to share with others. You may want to consider holding several around the school so that as many children as want to can be included.

Stop, Drop, and Read or Write

“Stop, Drop, and Read or Write” announcements will be made over the loudspeaker asking everyone to stop what they are doing and read or write.

Readers from the Community

Invite community members to share their favorite book with a class of students. Try for the mayor, a fireman, the police chief, coaches, parents, grandparents, and school community members.

Book Characters

Students and faculty dress as their favorite book character for a day.

Book Cover Doors

Each classroom decorates their door as a book jacket of one of their favorite books.

Reading Incentive

The whole school sets a goal of how many books to be read. The students do this reading at home. Parents must sign off on amount read. The challenges can vary: number of pages, books, and minutes read outside of school.

Book Bags

The local grocery store gave us enough new brown paper shopping bags for every student in our school. Students in every class made a book jacket on grocery bag. The bags were then returned to the store to be used to pack groceries. This was done as a project during art class.

Real Readers

Invite parents, administrators, special guests… etc. to come and share the book or books they are currently reading with the class. Ask them to talk about how they choose their reading and whom they get recommendations from.

Favorite Book Character Mural

Have students add their favorite book character to a common mural space in the school.

Read Around the School

Choose one day and a common time for this celebration. Have each teacher choose a different book to read aloud in his or her classroom at this common time. Each classroom participating would then create a poster to hang outside their room telling of the book that this teacher will read aloud. Have the children all sign-up to go to different classrooms to hear a story for about twenty minutes. This can be repeated with a second reading following directly after the first reading. Creating a master schedule of books being read and teachers reading would help with the management of this activity.

Book Related Trivia

We have a primary question and an intermediate question on the PA system each day of I Love to Read and Write Week. The librarian asks a question about some book and kids write down the answer. Someone in each class takes the answers to the librarian.  Then the Iibrarian checks to see who has the correct answer. These names are put in a basket and a name is drawn out – one for primary; one for intermediate. The winners get a free book!

Mystery Book Clues

Each teacher chooses a children’s book for this activity. On Monday they put up one clue about the book on their classroom door. Then they put up another clue on Tuesday. They continue in this way until Thursday. At the end of the day on Thursday, everyone in school tries to figure out just what book each teacher was highlighting during the week. On Friday, a list of all of the books is posted in a common area so that everyone can see how well they did!

A Not So Silent, Silent Reading Time

Pick a day to hold this event. I usually do this at the end of a school day. I invite all parents, siblings, and school community members from custodians to lunch persons to principal to school board directors to attend. The invitation lets them know that they will be listening to a read aloud and will be participating in a “not so silent, silent reading time” with the students in my classroom. I pick a story to read aloud to the entire gathering. This is a great time to model for parents just how interactive reading aloud can and should be! Then we all get our personal books to read and find a comfortable place to read them in. My students know that no adult should be alone at this time. And they know that if their family could not come, it is a great time to help out with folks who do not have children in the classroom. I find a book and a place to read and we begin. I usually set the timer for about 20 minutes. At the end of our silent reading together, we usually have a snack. On the notice sent home, it invites participants to be creative and bring a literary snack. We have had Frobscottle to drink, along with carrots from Farmer MacGregor’s garden and even a snack mix made out of cheerios. My note gives little direction for these snacks; it is most fun to see what comes in. It is always a surprise!