Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How to Celebrate National Reading Month!

I have a guest blogger today that's going to share some amazing ideas on how you can celebrate National Reading Month in your classroom! 

How to Celebrate National Reading Month in Your Classroom

National Reading Month takes place each year in March and provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to share their love of reading with students. There are numerous ways to celebrate books throughout the month. With just a little bit of planning, you can help your students get excited about reading.

Celebrate Dr. Seuss

National Reading Month just so happens to coincide with the birthday of one of the world’s most famous authors. Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904. His birthday provides a great excuse to add some fun into your daily routine. Dress up as the Cat in the Hat and read your favorite Dr. Seuss books to your students.

Set a Classroom Reading Goal

Get all of your students involved by setting a classroom reading goal, such as reading a total of 50 books during the month. Create a visual representation to let the students know how close they are to reaching the goal. For example, you can create a bare tree trunk with branches and let your students earn a leaf with their name on it for each book they read. They will love watching the tree fill up with leaves.

Organize a Book Exchange

Plan a book exchange for your classroom. Have students bring used books from home to exchange with their classmates. There are a number of ways to organize the book exchange. Students can pass books around a circle while the teacher reads a story; they keep whichever book they are holding when the story ends. You could also wrap the books and have students select them at random.

Dress as a Favorite Character

Designate a day for your students to dress as their favorite character from a book. You can combine this dress-up day with a number of different activities. Students can read parts of the book to the class and explain to their classmates why the character is their favorite. Alternatively, you can have your class vote on their favorite book and have them dress up as their favorite characters from that story. Students can act out the story and perform a play in front of students from other classrooms.

Decorate Your Classroom

Adorn your classroom with reading-themed artwork. Display motivational posters that remind students that reading is fun. Pick a book with vivid imagery and have your students recreate the pictures in their own style. You can have them draw, paint, make collages or create costumes. Throughout the month, display your students’ book-related arts and crafts throughout your classroom.

Recruit Readers from the Community

Ask parents and other community members to visit your class and read their favorite book to students. Have them talk to students about the importance of reading and why they find it enjoyable. If they have an interesting job, they can pick a book related to their profession and use the opportunity to talk to students about their work.

Provide Incentives

Set up a system for your students to keep track of the number of books they read during the month. Make a chart, offer prizes or provide other incentives to encourage individual students to read more books. Set aside some time each week for them to read in class.

Shared Reading Time

Bring your students to another classroom to share reading time with students from a different grade level. Pairing older students with emerging readers is a fun way for students to share their love of books.

Have a Pajama Party

Let your students celebrate the love of reading by dressing in pajamas and bringing a plush toy to class. Encourage them to spend some time lounging comfortably around the classroom, reading independently with their stuffed animals.

Take an “Imagination Vacation”

Have students bring in books related to a certain destination, such as Hawaii, the North Pole or the Wild West. Pick a day to take your “imagination vacation” and have your students pack items they would need if they were to visit the location. Set aside time to let your students read in their Hawaiian shirts, parkas or cowboy boots and let their imaginations run wild.

Zoe Luderitz is the Content Manager of Alibris, an online retailer of new, used, rare and out-of-print books. A true bibliophile, Zoe’s favorite past time is to tuck herself away in a coffee shop with a good book, bagel and hot coffee in front of her.   

1 comment:

  1. I love your post about all the different ways to celebrate National Reading Month! What great ideas! The students would love these! Imagination Vacation is such a creative idea and dressing up as a character, so fun! Providing incentives are always motivating for students. We set up a program at our school where we gave charms out to students after they read for a certain amount of hours. The kids LOVED getting the charms and wearing them on a necklace. Thanks for sharing!
    Tricks of the Trade in First Grade


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