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Celebration! Let’s Celebrate Reading All Year Long!

Celebration! Let’s Celebrate Reading All Year Long!

Go ahead and sing Kool & The Gang’s "Celebration" song over and over because Children’s Book Week is almost here! From April 30-May 6, we celebrate the books out there that help students learn how to read, learn about the world, and learn about themselves. It is great to have a dedicated week to celebrate reading, but we really should celebrate reading in classrooms ALL YEAR LONG!

The end of each unit is a great time to invite students to reflect, share, or think about the next steps in their reading journey.  The celebrations can be some sort of gathering and should last for at least a class period so it’s a big deal.  The students can suggest ways they can participate. As the teacher, you can steer them towards what kind of celebrating they can do.  Here are a few ideas to “celebrate good (reading) times” throughout the year:

Celebrate the process 

Reward students for reflecting on the work they accomplished. Readers can set goals at the beginning of the unit so they can reflect on them at the end. Students might set goals about how much they read, what kinds of books they choose, or particular skills they are working on. During this type of celebration, we might hear students huddle with their classmates and say things like:

Celebrate what was learned 

Readers can share what they’ve learned about topics or about strategies that improved their comprehension. Here are a few ideas:

  • Students could hold a mini symposium. They could set up topic tables around the room with books they’ve read. They could visit each other and ask questions about the topics. Encourage students to create a picture and sign for their table areas. 
Fiction - Character Study:
  • Students could dress up like their favorite character from the books they’ve read and interview each other.
  • Students could play Character Charades (Guess My Character). Establish groups and give clues such as things certain characters do, say, and think. The other students guess the portrayed character. 

Celebrate how reading can create change 

Reading isn’t just to get to the end of the book and find out what happens. It isn’t just to consume information around topics. This type of celebration could push students to use the ideas that came out of the texts they were reading in order to create some sort of change in the world. This change could be on a personal, communal, or global level..

For example, in a recent conversation with a teacher friend, she shared how the current book she was reading aloud to the class was creating deep conversation. Students were pulling many different ideas and themes from the text. They noticed that there was plenty of evidence to support the theme of “kindness” throughout the book. So, at the end of the book, they talked about what they could do to bring more kindness into the world and to each other. They decided to launch a “Compliment Campaign” where they agreed to compliment each of their classmates at least once a week. They even contemplated asking the whole school to participate.

So, let’s celebrate Children’s Book Week next week! Let’s also think about all of the big and little ways we celebrate the readers in our classrooms. We can celebrate and encourage the love of reading throughout the entire year! We encourage you to Tweet at us and share ideas you have for the types of celebrating you do with reading in your classrooms! Tweet at us @Kaeden_Books!