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Celebrate Children's Book Week With Classroom Activities

In Celebration of Book Week and School Library Media Month, Education World presents dozens of book-themed activities, lessons, and projects, from our archive! Included: How to write better book reports, stage a "Literature Day," compose Harry Potter haiku, plus additional classroom activities for teaching about fairy tales, folk tales, biographies, and more!

Important Dates
National Library Week, April 10-16, 2011
School Library Media Month, April 2011
Children's Book Week 2011, May 2-8, 2011
National Library Week 2011, April 10-16, 2011
Lesson Plans for Book Week
Great Book Week Projects
Additional Book Week Resources

Lesson Plans

Book Buffet
Patti Stephenson, who teaches at Tri-City Christian School in Independence Missouri, submitted this idea that she uses to peak student interest in reading books from a variety of genres. (Grades 3-12)

"Book Report Gallery" Bulletin Board
A camera is all you need to create this fun bulletin board for Book Week (or anytime).

Celebrate Books: A (Book) Week of Fun
The calendar might identify the third week in November as Children's Book Week, but for most teachers -- always on the lookout for new ideas to promote literacy -- every week is Book Week. Education World offers five new lessons for a week of reading fun.

Special Reading Fun
Each March, on Dr. Seusss birthday, schools celebrate Read Across America Day. This week, Education World recognizes this special day with five new reading lesson plans plus links to dozens of great reading projects culled from our archive.

By the Book -- Activities for Book Week
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket" -- but getting kids to crack open books is often no walk in the park. During this year's observance of Children's Book Week, share the wonder and magic of books. Included: Five language arts lessons you'll want to "bookmark."

Better Book Reports -- 25 Ideas
Tired of the same old book report formats? Spice up those old book reports with some new ideas. Education World presents 25 ideas for you to use or adapt. Included: Ideas for cyber book reports.

Better Book Reports: 25 More Ideas
Tired of the same old book report formats? This week, Education World presents a sequel to its popular Better Book Reports -- 25 Ideas article. Are you ready for 25 more practical book report ideas?

25 Ideas to Motivate Young Readers
To celebrate Children's Book Week, Education World presents 25 great ideas from teachers -- ideas that are sure to get kids across the grades excited about reading.

Reading Activities for Read-In! Day
Teachers share their favorite reading activity ideas. Included: Eight great themes for reading celebrations plus 12 great activities for reading fun.

Author! Author! Activities for National Children's Book Week
Ten lessons to spark students' curiosity about the wonderful world of books. Included: Activities that engage students in writing sequels to a classic story, "interviewing" people in biographies, completing surveys about their reading interests, more.

Harry Potter Haiku
If you are a teacher who is looking for a fun -- and educational -- activity, why not turn students' enthusiasm for all things Harry Potter into a creative writing opportunity?

Monologues, Poems, and Time Lines-- Biography Lessons Made Easy
Could you use a new method for teaching biography? Four educators share lessons that integrate biographies in classroom activities. Using monologues, poems, and time lines, these teachers show children that biographies can be fun as well as informative.

The 'Jigsaw' Approach Brings Lessons to Life
A technique called the "jigsaw method" provides the backdrop for a dynamic and engaging lesson that Ellen Berg's students still recall. Included: Berg's students' reactions to a teaching method that challenges them to create their own learning, as well as tips for using the jigsaw technique.

Building on Biographies -- Bringing Real-Life Stories Into Your Curriculum
Biographies are the stuff that great classroom activities are made of -- history, honesty, and heroism. With the help of the Internet, every teacher can bring biographies into their classrooms. Included: Ten activities that begin with biographies.

Study of Literary Characters 'Transforms' Student Writing
Teacher Jeanne Seiler-Phillips has created a "character transformation" activity that motivates students to think critically and write with a purpose as they develop characters in their writing.

Using Fairy Tales to Debate Ethics
What better way to spark a spirited classroom debate on ethics than by exploring the complex messages often found in fairy tales? Included: Three tales plus tips for managing an ethics debate in the elementary or middle school classroom.

Folktales of Cooperation for Your K-3 Class
Are you looking for a fun and effective way of promoting the spirit of cooperation in your K through 3 classrooms? Elaine Lindy shares three favorite folktales that will get kids thinking and talking about the importance of cooperation. Included: Follow-up activities and tips.

Lit to Fit: Literature Lessons for Every Grade
Marcia Goudie's Web site, Children's Literature Activities for the Classroom, directs educators to lessons that fit the literary works they teach. Included: Goudie's favorite lesson plan resources for use across the grades.

Lessons from the Library
Do your students know diddly about Dewey? If so, it's time to get them reacquainted with reading, researching, and the library. Included: Five lessons to reinforce library skills.


Wax Museum Biographies Teach and Entertain
When Cheryl Anderson's fifth graders perform their "Wax Museum Biographies," the students raise money for charitable activities within the state.

Competition Increases Student Reading
"The Book Bowl makes a sport of reading," said Bill Derry, supervisor of library media services for public schools in New Haven, Connecticut. Included: Tips for starting a Book Bowl in your community.

Organize a "Literature Day" (and Night) at Your School
Teachers at Westwood Elementary School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, organized a Literature Day. Then they did the whole thing over again at night -- so they could include families. Included: Activity ideas and tips for organizing your own literature event.

Fairy Tale and Folk Tale Cyber Dictionary
Whether you're a technology nerd or a trembling "newbie," your students can participate in the Fairy Tale and Folk Tale Cyber Dictionary project -- an activity even kindergarten students will enjoy. Included: Suggestions for adapting the project for older students.

Cinderella Goes to School
In classrooms from kindergarten to college, Cinderella projects, book clubs, and WebQuests take advantage of the fairy tale's broad appeal and varied cultural history. Included: Two classroom projects that show why Cinderella has such wide appeal for students and teachers.

Get Carried Away ... With National Children's Book Week
Teachers share their best ideas and activities to charge up students for a lifetime of reading.

Students Aim for World's Record With Giant Pop-Up Book
What's 8 feet tall and 14 feet wide, weighs more than 300 pounds, and can be found at an elementary school in Shakopee, Minnesota? It's not the world's scariest principal; what it is (according to art teacher Jane Smith), is potentially the world's biggest pop-up book.

'Talking' Books Creates a Hook
To help educators make books more appealing to students, media specialist Nancy Keane created a Web site called Booktalks -- Quick and Simple. Included: Learn how one teacher parlayed booktalks and basketball into a cool activity, plus discover some booktalk tips from teachers.

Paper Bag Book Report
Linda Bray, who teaches at Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi, submitted this weeks lesson. Students promote community literacy by creating paper bag book reports and workers at a local grocery store pack customers groceries in them. (Grades 3-8)

Evaluating a Book By Its Cover
Steven Vetter, who teaches in Manatee County Schools in Bradenton, Florida, submitted this weeks lesson. Students examine and evaluate book covers, then create their own cover for a favorite book. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Everybody Wins! -- Lunch-Hour Reading Program Scores High With Kids and Volunteers
Teachers, kids, and volunteers agree: Everybody Wins!, a nonprofit foundation, is a success. Adult reading mentors from organizations and corporations help disadvantaged elementary school children during lunch hour.

Young Authors and Artists Collaborate on Humanitarian Project
Students at a Washington elementary school shipped more than 1,000 books to schools in the South Pacific. Among the books were 115 the students had written themselves.

Book Adventure: An Online Reading Program Rewards Young Bookworms
A new online reading incentive program is promoting reading for pleasure among students in a new way.

"Sustained Silent Reading" Helps Develop Independent Readers (and Writers)
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) -- or DEAR (Drop Everything And Read), as some people call it -- can be one more tool for developing lifelong readers.

Fifth-Grade Teacher Introduces Students to Travel and Shakespeare
Rafe Esquith, a fifth-grade teacher in Los Angeles, puts in 12-hour days so he can teach students advanced math, music, and Shakespeare before and after school. His nonprofit organization, called the Hobart Shakespeareans, was honored on Oprah Winfrey's TV show.


Principals' Feats Fuel Fabulous Reading
What would students do to see a principal camp on the roof, become a human sundae, kiss a pig, or get slimed? Turns out they will do a great deal -- of reading! Many principal are capitalizing on students' desire to see them do wacky stunts and build reading skills.

Strategies That Work: Reading Aloud
The landmark report Becoming a Nation of Readers concluded that reading aloud is "the single most important activity foreventual success in reading." Teachers agree, and they offer their thoughts on using read-alouds in classrooms across the grades.

Surprised By Reading -- Confessions of a Math Teacher
Time pressures and accountability have caused many educators to cut back on -- or cut out -- reading aloud to students. Teacher Brenda Dyck reflects on the power of reading aloud. Included: Resources to help teachers re-establish read-alouds.

The Author's Picks: Must-Read Books For Elementary Students
Are you looking for the best books to read with your elementary school students during National Children's Book Week? This week, those in the know -- the authors of some of today's best-loved children's books -- share their personal favorites with you.

The Author's Picks: Must-Read Books For Young Adult Readers
In recognition of National Children's Book Week, the authors of some of today's best books for children and young adults share their favorite young adult books with you.


Peeing in the Ool and Other Favorite Kids' Poems
Kenn Nesbitt's zany and whimsical poetry has appeared in children's poetry anthologies all over planet Earth. If he isn't writing poetry, you'll find Nesbitt visiting elementary schools, sharing his crazy brand of rhyming humor with kids everywhere.

Literature and Math Converge in Storyville
Storyville Math is an adventure in learning in which classes read books, write word problems, illustrate solutions, and calculate answers to math problems written by their peers. Included: Tips for coordinators of online projects.

Study of Literary Characters 'Transforms' Student Writing
Teacher Jeanne Seiler-Phillips has created an activity that challenges students to think. Included: A list of literary characters who experience or cause transformations plus a work sheet to help students organize their thoughts before writing.

Read -- and Pedal -- Across America
Georgia fourth-grade teacher Faye Smith's PAUSE (Pedal Across the United States Every day) program pairs reading and cycling. Included: Ideas for integrating this project across the curriculum.

Educators Review Software: Reading for Meaning
Educators review Reading for Meaning, a software program designed to improve student reading comprehension. RfM includes 35 lessons and authentic literature by such authors as Robert Frost and Jack London.

'Checking Out' Library Books from Home
Using eBook libraries such as the one in the Aldine (Texas) Independent School District, teachers and students can "check out" online copies of library books from their home or school computers. Included: A description of how eBook libraries work.

Literature Circles Build Excitement for Books
Two experts in the field offer insights and advice about using literature circles. Included: Valuable resources for teachers who want to learn more about using literature circles.

Math and Literature -- A Match Made in the Classroom
Literature is the ideal vehicle to help your students see the importance of numbers in their daily lives. Included: Author Marilyn Burns shares her thoughts with Education World. Plus ideas for integrating math and literature.

Make It Happen: Awesome Author and Illustrator Visits
Learn how to transform a school author or illustrator visit from an hour of entertainment into a life-long connection to reading and writing. Included: Tips for great author visits.

BiblioCat Web Site Full of Resources, Feline Fun
The BiblioCat Web Page provides teachers, librarians, and parents with practical, easy-to-find information. Included: Teachers comment about the site's usefulness.

Principals Share Their Favorite Read-Aloud Books
Education World asked our Principal Files principals to share their favorite books to read aloud to students. The result is a list of more than 20 books -- some popular and familiar, others obscure -- that should be on every principal's reading list.

Books of Character: Books for Teaching About Character Across the Grades
Included: Eighteen titles arranged by age level and a link to a list of more than 200 other titles for teaching about character.

Reading Aloud -- Is It Worth It?
Are the benefits of reading aloud worth the time? Included: Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, talks to Education World about the value of reading aloud.

Get to Know Your Favorite Authors -- On the Internet
From Eric Carle's to Aaron Shepard's, authors' pages teem with biographical information, bibliographies, information about specific books, and even, in many cases, activities geared to fun and learning.

Reading Aloud -- Are Students Ever Too Old?
Is there ever a time when students are too old to be read to? Many teachers are firm believers in reading aloud -- even at the high school and college levels.

Banning Books from the Classroom: How to Handle Cries for Censorship
Challenges to school materials are a common occurrence. How should such challenges be handled? How can they be avoided?

Great Sites for Teaching About ... Authors
This week's sites are among the best on the Web for teaching about authors.


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Originally published 11/09/2001
Last updated 06/07/2011