Category Archives: reading aloud

Creative Dr. Seuss Birthday Ideas {It’s March 2!}

by Diane Burdick, M. Ed. 

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One of my favorite sayings comes from my children’s favorite author. Seriously. Consider the wisdom of Theodor Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Truth, plain and simple.

Every March 2, libraries and schools around the country celebrate the birthday of this beloved childhood muse. So why not go beyond simply reading his timless tales and bring them to life? Here are some creative ideas to take you from snack time to craft time to recess.

Fun with Food

With a smidgen of creativity, Dr. Seuss’s books become veritable cookbooks! Favorite yum-o ideas:

  • Create a stack of pancakes with strawberry filling to look like the hat of The Cat In the Hat
  • Eat cake in the bathtub at home, like the cat does in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (do it while holding an open umbrella, if you’re truly talented)
  • Hand out multicolored Goldfish crackers to illustrate One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  • Drink pink ink (strawberry Quik-flavored milk) like the “pink yink ink” in One Fish, Two Fish
  • Of course there’s green eggs and ham. Of course.
  • And check out these adorable Thing One Thing Two cupcakes, shown right, from Go Graham Go!

Dress Up, Seuss-style

Keep the fun going by helping kids dress like their favorite (or original!) Seuss character.

  • Look for tall pipe-like hats at the craft store and decorate them with red and white stripes (or make your own from poster board).
  • Wear socks on your hands and feet to resemble Fox in Socks.
  •  And if your dress-up box is a bit more on the wild side, let children layer on the funny furs, feather boas, ears and snouts to create their own silly Seuss-like character! Older children can then write rhyming stories about their original character to share with a younger class.

Tim Tebow Storytime

View the animated webcast recording of football phenom Tim Tebow reading Green Eggs and Ham. Great reading role model! Just click “watch now” and then enter the little information it asks for (city, state, etc.). The video is adorable.

Cat-y Crafts!

Looking for something to do? How about some help from Thing 1 and Thing 2?

Let kids create two paper bag hand puppets of the Things with this adorable template from In addition to a printout for each student (provided on the site), you’ll need two red paper bags (or white bags colored red), scissors, glue/double-sided tape and crayons or markers. So stinkin’ cute!

Get Movin’

Balance Silliness: Recreate some of the fun from the Cat in the Hat by letting children try their hand at carrying and balancing a variety of items, cat-style, while walking across the room: balance a book on a child’s head, hold a stack of books with a ball on top, and hang a curved-handled umbrella over the crook of the child’s arm. Make it into a contest: Have every child in your class try walking with the same items. Mark each child’s stopping point (how far they get before things topple) on tape on the rug, labeled with their names. The child who walks the farthest wins!

Kite Race: Recreate another activity from the Cat in the Hat by letting kids race kites outside or in the gym at school. Keep things safe by spacing children at least 10 feet apart from each other and shortening their kite strings to under 10 feet. They’ll end up dragging the kites the whole way, but it is hysterical!

Lego Cat Hat: Looking for a simple activity? Have kids sort out red and white Lego blocks and see who can build the tallest ‘Cat Hat’ quickest. Make sure to have a timer and ruler ready to see who wins!

After a Seusstacular day, your students will be saying, “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”


Filed under Activities, Art, creative writing, Games, Reading, reading aloud, reluctant readers, technology, Writing

Growing Strong Spellers in a TXTNG World.

by Diane Burdick, M. Ed. and Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed.

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Spelling is important. Now, this fact is debatable if you look at the i-gadgets of most tweens and teens (CU L8R), but CTO (that’s “check this out”): Spelling correctly is essential to proper communication and success in life. Misspelled words immediately bring a connotation of lower intelligence, leaving readers wondering if you’re TSTL. (“Too Stupid To Live”…and no, we’re not making up this netlingo.)

So, even if “Spelling Bee Champ” isn’t on a child’s radar, you can still encourage your students to become better spellers (and writers) with just a few simple tips:

1. Show them the importance of spelling.

Spelling correctly isn’t just for writing papers or acing spelling quizzes. Show students real-life (and fun) examples of how people use spelling.

For example, create a list of games or television shows where spelling is important: Scrabble, Wheel of Fortune, Boggle, Word With Friends (a popular iPhone ap game). Depending on your child’s age, you could let him or her watch a few rounds of the national competitions of spelling and geography bees, where students are expected to know (and often DO know) the spelling of obscure words and country names. Mucho impressivo.

2. Publish student writing.

Make your students’ worlds known to other people by publishing their work. Now, publishing used to mean printing and binding, but in our digital age, publishing is as fast (and free) as clicking that mouse.

Consider creating a class website or blog that features their written work. Include stories, journal entries, and graphic projects like comic-strip stories and photo essays (pictures with captions that tell a story or convey an argument or social message). To set up a class blog, just visit and click through the steps: free and easy!

Writing with an audience in mind provides authentic accountability for spelling and grammar. Be sure to give children a writing/editing checklist (checking for spelling, run-ons, fragments, etc.) to help them proofread their work before hitting “publish” for the world to see!

3. Develop an interest in words.

Implement a “word of the day” segment of class to broaden your students’ vocabulary and spelling prowess. Here are some ways to spice up this idea:

  • Learn the word in a variety of languages. Translate words from English to pretty much any other language in the world (Spanish, French, Tagalog, Swahili) at Point out how many Latin-based languages use similar spellings and pronunciations.
  • Share the root word or word of origin.
  • Use a thesaurus and dictionary to find appropriate synonyms and antonyms for the word of the day.
  • Hold a “creativity contest”: the student who can correctly use the new word in the most inventive, creative, humorous or clever sentence is the Word Champ for the day.

4. Relate word spellings to other words.

Use clue words to help students spell other words. For example, if your student knows how to spell the word “telephone” but struggles writing the word “elephant” remind them that the /f/ sound is the same as in the word “telephone.”

5. Read stories aloud.

Studies show that reading aloud to students cultivates more interest in–and positive connotations with–reading and writing. Read aloud to your students, and have them read aloud to you, as well. The result? They’ll gain a better comprehension of and appreciation for the printed word.

In summary, while our world may be increasingly lazy when it comes to spelling, we can still present this necessary skill as relevant. CU L8R.

For a list of innovative spelling projects, posters, and instructional aids, check out

Diane Burdick, M. Ed. holds a masters in elementary education and a bachelors in history, and is currently pursuing her specialists degree with a concentration in teaching and learning. A homeschooling mother of three, she also enjoys freelancing for online publications.

Elizabeth D. Cossick, M. Ed. has a bachelors in education from The University of Georgia and a masters in curriculum and instruction from Lesley University, Cambridge. In addition to being the editor of A Learning Experience, she publishes Little Black Dress | Little Red Wagon Magazine. She resides in Atlanta with her husband, two young children, and a frisky Westie named Munson.


Filed under creative writing, grammar, Language Arts, Phonics, reading aloud, Spelling, Writing

Make Way for Ducklings!

by Kelli Lewis

Comment on this post and be entered to win a $20 School Box gift card. Winners are drawn every month!

Quack, quack! Here is a fun activity for kindergarten or first grade. Get your students involved and engaged as they become immersed in this beloved story and cute craft activity.

Read Aloud

  1. Read Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.
  2. Use this time to review concepts you’ve been working on prior to this activity. For instance, ask students to identify the story’s problem and solution, make predictions, point out compound words or proper nouns, etc.
  3. Then, follow up the story by making your own ducklings!

Duckling Craft

Materials for one duckling:

• paper plate

• yellow crayon

• black crayon

• stapler

• yellow construction paper

• orange construction paper

Materials to have pre-made or pre-drawn so that the students can cut out (for one duckling): 1 orange duck foot (start by drawing an egg shape, then make the top part spiky for the toes), 1 small orange nose (triangle), 1 yellow duck head (circle).


• Fold paper plate in half and staple.

• Color both sides yellow with a crayon.

• Trace your hand on a piece of yellow construction paper and cut out. This will become your duckling’s feathers.

• Draw two black eyes on the duckling’s head (yellow circle).

• Glue the orange nose (triangle) on the duckling’s head (yellow circle).

• Glue the duckling’s head to one pointy end of the duckling’s body (folded paper plate).

• Glue the duckling’s feathers (yellow hand print) to the other pointy end of the duckling’s body (folded paper plate).

• Glue the orange foot (egg shape with spikes) to the bottom of the duckling’s body (folded paper plate), in the middle of the curve.

Writing Tie-In

To incorporate writing, depending on level:

  • Students can write their names on their ducks
  • Students can write one sentence on the back of their ducks, describing their duck with adjectives (“My duck is yellow.” “My duck is cute.” “My duck is fluffy.”)
  • Advanced students can write a paragraph about their duck on a separate piece of paper, which can then be glued inside the duck’s paper plate body. To get them started, ask these prompts: What does your duck eat? What does your duck look like? What does your duck do for fun?

The cute little ducks will surely “quack” up your students!

This classic book is often available in libraries, but if you’d like your own copy for $7.99, click here.

Kelli Lewis is a graduate student at The University of Georgia and a regular contributor to A Learning Experience.

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Filed under Activities, Art, creative writing, Reading, reading aloud, Writing

The Little Red Hen {awesome activities!}

by Kelli Lewis

Comment on this post and be entered into our monthly drawing for a $20 School Box gift card!
Here is a fun activity to submerge your kindergarteners or first graders in this memorable story favorite. They’ll participate in their own writing and bring the story to life through an adorable craft. Just in time for spring…and perfect for the classroom or at home with your own kiddos.

Start by reading The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone.

This is the classic folk tale version most of us are familiar with (and it’s available at The School Box for $5.95 if your library doesn’t have it). Use this time to review concepts you’ve been working on prior to this activity. For instance, ask students to identify the story’s problem and solution, make predictions as you’re reading, point out compound words or proper nouns, etc.

Next, watch The Little Red Hen on video.

I found this on, but you may or may not have permission to show this in your classroom. However, I would bet there is a way you can get this from your school media center or the local library, since it’s such a popular video. Here’s the youtube link:

Connect and write about it.

Have students write sentences about how they help out around their homes: “I help at home when I ________.” Then, they can draw a picture to show them helping.

Bring your story to life with a craft!

This hen is pretty easy to assemble and fun to create. I like using the hen template found here: However, by taking a look at it, you could easily get your own ideas for making a hen.

Make it scrapy! Using scrapbook paper for the hen’s feathers/arms makes these little guys absolutely adorable. Check your local Hobby Lobby or any other crafty stores for a variety of scrapbook paper with all different sorts of prints. These places usually have a section of discounted papers you can sort through, if you’d like. Cooking-themed and farm-themed papers repeat the story’s themes, but red-and-white checkered paper is super cute, too.

Who’s down for an extension?

After reading this version of the Little Red Hen, children get really tickled by reading different versions.  Check out The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philomen Sturges, with its modern, wacky twist. Then, talk about how the two stories are similar, and yet also different.

So, who’s going to go try these activities? And none of you had better answer, “Not I”!

For more Little Red Hen ideas, including a felt board set and a Big Book, click here.

Kelli Lewis is a graduate student at The University of Georgia whose creative ideas are always inspiring!


Filed under Activities, Art, comprehension, creative writing, Language Arts, Reading, reading aloud, reluctant readers, Writing

Be Your Own Author!

by Rachel Stepp

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The story Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk is about a small mouse who dwells in the library and decides to become an author. He stays up during the night writing undersized books for his local library. The patrons of the library discover the books and fall in love with them! They become so curious about the author that they leave him a note. They want to meet him, but they don’t know he’s a mouse. Instead of revealing himself, the library mouse puts a mirror in a tissue box to encourage the children to see themselves as their own authors.

Write Your Own Books!

After you have read this book to the class, tell your students that they are going to be creating their own library books…just like the library mouse. Here’s how:

1. Prewriting

First, brainstorm ideas as a class. What would you like to write about? In the story, the mouse wrote about things he knew, such as himself and cheese. Help your students make a list of things that they know and could write about (pets, friends, activities they enjoy, toys they play with, etc.).

2. Drafting

Encourage your students to write rough drafts of their story with a beginning, middle and end.

3. Revising and Editing

Tell your students to read back over their drafts. Make this checklist on the board, for students to follow as they reread their stories:

Does the story make sense?
Does anything need to be added or changed?
Do the sentences all have capital letters and punctuation?
Do I need to check the spelling of any words?

4. Final Copy

Help your students make their own books by folding paper in half and stapling it. On the day that students will write their final drafts, create a tissue box with a mirror in it (like the one in the story). Have each student “meet the author” by looking into the box and seeing themselves. This will help students envision themselves as authors and illustrators!

5. Publishing!

After your students have written their own books, put them on display in your classroom library. Students will enjoy sharing their books with their peers and getting new ideas from others. You can even allow the children to read their books to the class, just like the teacher.

6. A Fun Text-to-Life Connection

A fun way to conclude this unit is to tell your students that the school’s library mouse will probably be visiting the classroom when he hears that there are new books to read! After one night, leave a small (mouse-sized) note from the mouse. Tell your students that the mouse has come during the night and read through some of the books. You can make it personal by including small comments about titles of books, illustrations, student names and even fun suggestions. Students will be enthused by the idea of the school’s mouse reading their books!

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia who often shares her creative ideas on A Learning Experience.


Filed under comprehension, creative writing, grammar, Language Arts, Reading, reading aloud, Writing

Chameleons of Our Own

by Rachel Stepp

Comment on this post to win a $20 gift card to The School Box! Winners are announced monthly.

One of my favorite books about colors and chameleons is A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni.

This book is a short picture book about a chameleon that is different from other animals because he does not stay the same color all the time. He comes up with a plan to stay one color, but it doesn’t work. Finally, he finds a chameleon friend that can always be the same color as him as long as they stick together! The story is cute and colorful. Once you have read the story to your class, you can discuss colors, emotions, and feelings about being alike or unlike others.

Art Activity

You can also incorporate art through an activity related to this book. Talk to your students about what they would like the chameleon to camouflage into. You will be creating these ideas through making “rubbings.” Here’s how:

  1. First, cut out chameleon shapes from thick cardstock paper.
  2. Place a cut-out for each child under a piece of white computer paper.
  3. Next, the students will make “rubbings” of the chameleon shape on the white paper with their crayons by taking their crayon and coloring with it on its side. You might need to peel all of the paper off of the crayon before you can do this.
  4. Encourage your students to be creative with their chameleon. They can color it like objects around the room, their own clothes, and so much more! For example, you might want your chameleon to blend in with a watermelon. To do this, you would color part of your chameleon green, part red, and add black seeds.
  5. When you are done coloring your watermelon slice, you will be able to see the outline of a chameleon.

Science Tie-In

Once you’re on the topic of chameleons, you can talk about reptiles and the things that chameleons blend in with. Send your class on an outdoor nature hunt to look for chameleons or other lizards. Encourage students to look under leaves, in grass…and even on the school building! You can bring art outdoors and let your students do tracings of leaves and other textures outside, as well.

Social Skills

If you’re not feeling crafty or you can’t go outside, you can relate A Color of His Own to the social skills in your classroom. You can discuss friendship with your students and the importance of finding friends that you feel comfortable around. Also, you can talk about how students, like animals and chameleons, are all different from each other. The students will enjoy comparing themselves to the story!

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia who often shares her good ideas on A Learning Experience.


Filed under Activities, Art, Classroom Community, comprehension, Multicultural Community, Reading, reading aloud, Science

Will You Be My…?

by Rachel Stepp

Comment on this article for a chance to win a $20 gift card to The School Box. One lucky commenter wins each month!

Valentine’s Day is one of those wishy-washy holidays. You know, the kind that are sort of tough to justify academically but you’d be black-listed by your students if you completely ignored it. So, I’ve compiled some fun ways to recognize Valentine’s Day in your classroom while promoting literacy (check!), raising school funds (ca-ching!), and building classroom community (sweet!).

Val-Day Idea One: In Love with Literature

Read books to your students about the history or traditions of the holiday. For younger students, my favorite is Little Critter: Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter! by Mercer Mayer. For older grades, try Valentine’s Day (Holiday Histories) by Kathryn A. Imler. You can base classroom discussions around what people might do on Valentine’s Day and why we still celebrate the holiday in America.

Val-Day Idea Two: Will You Be My…Friend?

Of course, the traditional idea of having students exchange cards and sweets is ever popular with the kiddos. Remember to encourage students to bring a card for everyone if they are going to bring any (sending home a class list ahead of time helps with this goal). Depending on how involved you want the celebration to be, you can either have your students make shoebox mailboxes or decorate Valentine bags. For the shoebox mailboxes, students can bring in shoeboxes and decorate them with construction paper, stickers, paint, and more. For bags, the same can be done with brown or colored lunch bags (eliminates the need for students to bring in boxes). Allow students to place their boxes/bags on their desks and then invite students to walk around and deliver cards.

Val-Day Three: Cash for Carnations

If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a larger scale, encourage your school to participate in a school-wide function. One of my favorite school-wide activities for Valentine’s Day is a carnation sale run by the PTA/PTO. A sale table is set up at the beginning of the week where students can order carnations in advance, which also helps the organization know how many to buy. On Valentine’s Day, carnations are delivered to classrooms with tags on them to say who they are for and who they are from. This allows students to buy carnations for others throughout their school. They can also buy them for their family members at home. Money raised can be used to support other school functions. (Hint: middle-schoolers LOVE this idea).

Valentine’s Day is a day to remember the ones you love…and the job you love! Make the day something that you and your students will enjoy.

For more Valentine-themed goodies for your home and classroom, check out The School Box’s good ideas!

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia who is a constant resource of great ideas!


Filed under Activities, Classroom Community, Holidays, Reading, reading aloud

A Wintry Way to Review Patterns!

by Rachel Stepp

Comment on this post and you could win a $20 School Box Gift Card! A winner is selected weekly!

Here’s an imaginative way to create a wintry wonderland in your classroom and also review patterns and counting!

Paper Chains

  1. First start by creating paper chains that you can hang from the ceiling. These chains can be made with different shades of blue and white construction paper.
  2. Mark strips on the paper using a ruler. Place the ruler along the paper and just make the strips as wide as the ruler. (No real measurement is necessary!) Older students can do this themselves. Make enough sheets for each student to have around 20 strips in several different colors of paper.
  3. Once your students have their paper, allow them to cut the strips along the lines.
  4. Now, teach (or review) patterns. Explain and model various patterns such as ABAB or ABBABB. For upper elementary/middle grades, this would also be a great time to get in a little literary integration by whipping out some poetry with various rhyme schemes. You can compare the rhyme schemes with the paper patterns…and students could even copy various lines of poetry onto their strips. For a great list of printable winter-themed rhyming poems, check out Apples 4 the Teacher.
  5. After students have had time to explore different patterns, teach them how to make a paper chain using their strips. Encourage them to hold the glued links for ten seconds to secure the glue. This will also help them count to 10 and review their numbers.
  6. Once your students have made paper chains, connect all of the chains together and hang them across the classroom from the ceiling. The classroom will be filled with snowy skies when you are all done!

(If your county’s fire marshall is anti-ceiling-hanging, you can hang the chains from bulletin boards, white boards, walls and doorways instead. Just as magical!)

Glitter Snowflakes

  1. Add a little extra pizazz to your room with snowflakes from your students. Students just start with a regular piece of white (or light blue) paper. Then have students fold the paper multiple times, until it is a small, folded rectangle. They can fold as many times as they’d like…so long as scissors can still penetrate the folds.
  2. Next, students will cut small snips and shapes out of the edges of their folded rectangle. They can also snip and round out corners. You can review shapes with this lesson (and practice fine motor coordination) by guiding the students in cutting out specific shapes: triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, etc.
  3. Then, when students unfold their snipped paper, voila! A unique snowflake.
  4. Add some glitter so they sparkle in the light.

You can also use the idea of reflection and have students draw half of a snowflake and then reflect their drawing on the other side of their paper.

Then, you could follow up these chilly activities by reading your favorite winter storybook to your class. I love Jan Brett, but if you have another great wintry-themed book suggestion, post it in the comments below! I’d love to hear your favorites!

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia and a regular contributor to A Learning Experience.

Photo from


Filed under Classroom Decor, Math, Poetry, Reading, reading aloud, Seasons, Uncategorized

“G” is for Gingerbread

by Rachel Stepp

Comment on this post to win a $20 School Box Gift Card!! One winner each week is selected.

If you are short on activities to do around the holiday, you can incorporate the letter “G” and gingerbread into your curriculum.

  1. Start out by discussing the letter “G” and the sounds it makes. Invite your students to tell you words that start with the letter “G.” This will help them to realize what sounds the letter “G” makes.
  2. After this introduction, read the book Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. This is a cute story about a gingerbread man cookie that got out of the oven when it was still a gingerbread baby. The baby runs away from the house he was baking in and causes chaos in the local town. The students really enjoy this book because of the mischief that Gingerbread Baby causes.
  3. Cut out enough gingerbread man outlines for all of your students on full size brown construction paper. Depending on your students’ ability levels, you might want to trace the pattern and cut it or let them do it themselves.
  4. Before the lesson, cut four small pieces of red rik-rak (a type of ribbon with a zigzag pattern) per child. These 4 pieces will go on the ankles and wrists as if they were icing on the gingerbread man cookie. I have even found red rik-rak with silver threading details in the past. Make sure students use enough glue so that the ribbon stays glued down. From my experience, I have learned that it takes more glue than I thought it would.
  5. Tell the students to take three buttons in Christmas colors (or random colors), and glue them down the center of the gingerbread man as if they were on his shirt.
  6. Next, students will draw eyes, a mouth and a nose on his face.
  7. With white craft glue, outline the gingerbread man along his entire body.
  8. Sprinkle ground cinnamon onto the glue and let it dry. This makes the cookie smell like a true gingerbread man cookie. (It also makes your classroom smell good!) Students enjoy sprinkling the cinnamon because it can be a little messy! So make sure that you have a large surface area to work on (like a cookie sheet with sides), or else you will be collecting cinnamon on the bottom of your shoes for days!
  9. Let the gingerbread men dry because the glue will drip from the buttons and rik rak.
  10. A tasty addition: You can bring gingerbread cookies to class to let the children snack on while they are making their crafts.

I have found it helpful to show my class an image of a gingerbread man on the SmartBoard so that they have something to look at besides my example. This activity can be molded and adapted to fit almost any grade. You can do a writing extension where your students write a story about what their gingerbread man can do. These make cute classroom decorations for the holiday season, as well!

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia who enjoys incorporating creative, interactive ideas into her lessons…and then sharing them with us through A Learning Experience!


Filed under Activities, Classroom Decor, Reading, reading aloud

Doing a Book Study…Even in the Early Grades!

by Rachel Stepp

Comment on this post to win a $20 gift card to The School Box! One commenter this week will win.

Do you have a particular author that you are interested in? Do you think that your students should read a special book that will teach them a lifelong lesson? If you do, you might want to do a book study with your class.

The first step is choosing a book. Choose one that each student in your class can read individually or in pairs. In the earliest grades, you might have to choose a book that you can read aloud to the class everyday. Here are five days’ worth of ideas for how to do your very own book study:

Day 1

  • Introduce the book to your students. Tell your students why you have chosen your particular book and what you hope to do with it. Take ideas and suggestions from your students.
  • Create a chart with them on large chart paper. Title the chart “KWL,” which stands for “What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Have Learned.” The students can fill in the K and the W before reading the book, after they have done a picture walk. Students can also predict what the reading will be about.

Day 2

  • Let your students read the book (or read it aloud to them). If you are letting your students read it individually or with a partner, make sure that you have enough copies of the text.
  • Help students to create a word bank of important words that they come across and words that they do not know.
  • At the end of your session on this day, fill in the “W” on your chart about what students have learned that day from their reading.

Day 3

  • On this day, focus on the author (and possibly the illustrator) of your book. Bring in biographies and online information about your author so that the students are aware of who wrote the book.
  • When you introduce authors to students, they realize that people who write books are real people, just like them. Ask them to find similarities between their own lives and the author’s life.
  • One great book I like to do this with is Tommy DePaola’s The Art Lesson. This book follows the thoughts of a young student, Tommy, who wants to be an artist; the fun comes when you tell your students that Tommy DePaola wrote this book about himself!

Day 4

  • Revisit your book on this day. Reread the text and go over tricky and important words that students have recorded.
  • Have students illustrate and write about their favorite part in the book. They can write describing words, sentences, and even paragraphs (depending on the grade). Allow your students to share their ideas and discover similarities and differences between their illustrations and those found in the book.

Day 5

  • Celebrate your book choice! Reread the text to the children and finish the “KWL” chart. Children should be able to identify what they have learned while reading the book. Ask children if they answered all of their questions about what they wanted to know.
  • If they did not answer their questions, help them discover places where they can look to find answers. This could start a student-led research project!

When you’re finished with your week-long book study, introduce a few more books to your students that are either written by the same author or are written on the same topic. Students that were interested in your book will be interested to read more.
If you are looking for some variation in this book study, ask your students what kinds of projects that they would like to complete. Student choice gives students the chance to express their individuality and to be creative!

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia whose good ideas are frequently published on A Learning Experience.

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Filed under Academic Success, comprehension, Reading, reading aloud