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Turn Children's Book Week into a school wide celebration.
Children's Book Week, Book Week, reading, author, celebration, literature, book report, book, library
Try some of the dozen activities listed below to turn Children's Book Week into a week-long celebration in your classroom or school.
A Day of Reading. Set aside an entire school day for reading-related activities. Invite students to bring to school pillows, stuffed animals, and their favorite books. Set aside time for students to do silent reading; reading with buddies; reading to younger students; and listening to younger students read. Break up the reading with your favorite book-related activities and with some of these additional ideas:
Temperature's Rising. Invite each student to create a paper thermometer. Instead of degrees, the thermometer should measure the number of books (or pages) students read during Children's Book Week. Set a goal at the start of the week and see if students meet that goal. If your Book Week is a school wide celebration, a thermometer can be posted outside the door of each classroom to record the class's combined reading achievement; the classes can compete for special rewards. Individual students might also earn a coupon for each book they read, and enter their coupons into a drawing for special prizes.
Read-a-Thon. Have each student solicit from family and neighbors pledges of money for each book he or she reads during Children's Book Week. At the end of the week, children collect on those pledges. Use the money to buy new books for the school library. Alternatively, each student might "pay" 5 cents or a quarter for each book he or she reads during Children's Book Week (or during the whole month of November). The money can purchase books for the school library.
I Vote for Books. Take time to vote. Hold a school wide "Vote for Your Favorite Book" election. (You might hold a primary election to choose the books to be entered in the general election.) Have students present campaign speeches and create posters for their book "candidates." If you have access to closed-circuit TV, " broadcast" political advertisements each day. See additional activities in an Education World article, Reading Activities for Read In! Day.
Harry Potter Haiku. Have students write haiku about one of everyone's favorite book characters -- Harry, of course -- and submit their completed work to the Harry Potter Haiku Web page. (Click here for more information.)
Book Bowl. Hold a school wide Book Bowl.
Musical Books. Play this game just like musical chairs (except -- because there's a chair for everyone -- no one gets eliminated.) Place a book on each chair. When the music stops, give students 5 minutes to read or look through the book they are holding. Repeat the activity several times to quickly expose students to a wide variety of books. Most students will find at least one book they'll later want to read in its entirety.
I-Love-to-Read Posters. Ask students to bring a favorite book from home. Use a digital camera to take a close-up picture of the student reading that book. Print the pictures in 5- x 7-inch or 8 x 10-inch format. Post the pictures on a background that has a headline such as I Love to Read or WANTED: Caught Reading Great Books. Post the miniposters on a bulletin board or throughout the school.
Book Swap. Have students bring in a gently used paperback book from home, and set aside a time for students to exchange their books with one another. (You might make this a monthly event.) To make things even more interesting, students can create mini advertisements to entice their classmates to choose the book they contributed to the swap. Alternatively, let students bring in up to 10 books. Allow the students who bring in the most books to pick from the collection first. Donate all unclaimed books to a local orphanage or children's hospital.
Read Aloud Coupons. Encourage students to create Read Aloud coupons for holiday gift-giving. They can present coupons "good for one story to be read by [child's name]" to parents, grandparents, and other significant people in their lives.
Literature Day (and Night). Hold a special Literature Day event at school. Do it again at night for parents!
Word Search Puzzles. Teach students to use the Word Builder tool found on the Reading Planet Web site. Students can use the tool to create word search puzzles related to one of the books they read during Children's Book Week.
At the end of the Book Week celebration, students choose their two favorite activities and rate their overall impression of the week on a scale of 1 to 5.
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