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Reading Fun

Are you looking for a special project that will excite your students about reading? You have come to the right place! On this page, we have gathered together dozens of Education World articles that offer unique lessons and ideas for teachers of reading at all levels. Make every week Book Week with these fun and "novel" reading lesson ideas.

Celebrate Books: A (Book) Week of Fun
The calendar might identify November 17-23 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.

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
Looking for more fresh 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.

Special Reading Fun for Read Across America Day
Five new reading lessons include quick games for building reading skills, a round-robin reading quiz idea, a bulletin board that motivates reading, a reading timeline activity, and a sequencing lesson!

Dr. Seuss Literacy Night
An evening of characters and games at Hill Field Elementary includes a wide range of activities, a "make and take" home-reading activity area, and a popular school-wide book exchange -- all to excite kids and families about literacy and to 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.

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.

"Extreme Read--Warrior Style" Connects Kids, Parents, Teachers Through Books
Students at one Florida middle schools read and discuss young adult novels as part of the school's annual "Extreme Read." The experience gives students a chance to see those around them -- peers, parents, and even the math teacher -- as fellow readers.

Principals Make Reading a School-Wide Goal
Students pledge to read thousands of pages. First- and fifth-graders buddy up for reading. Those events and others are part of school-wide reading programs at two Minnesota schools. Included: Additional activities to help make reading a school-wide goal.

Non-Fiction Has Character With Biography Blitz
For the last three years, Lake Park (Georgia) Elementary School has met AYP goals and been named a Distinguished Title I School, and Teresa Parkerson, an academic coach, believes that the Biography Blitz has contributed greatly to the schools success.

Male Teachers Show That Real Men Read
A library media specialist thought posters showing real men reading and men talking about the benefits of reading could be just the thing to encourage more boys to pick up books. The Real Men Read program is so successful that it has spread to other schools.

NAESP Nominates Five Books for 2009 Principal's Read Aloud Award
Are you a principal who is looking for a special way to promote and model reading for fun? You can share your love of reading and set a great example for students by reading aloud the five books that are nominated for the 2009 Principal’s Read Aloud Award.

Principals Favorite Read-Aloud Books: 2008
Do you love to read aloud to students? If so, you understand that modeling a joy of reading is one of the most valuable things you can do. So what is the book you most love to share? Here are our Principal Files principals favorites. Please add yours!

One Book, One School, One Community: A Singular Reading Experience
Driven by the desire to enhance literacy skills and bring together generations, these three schools organized One Book community reading activities. Is this something your school might do? Included: Tips for choosing the right literary selection for a community read.

Principals Promote Reading Aloud With Special Award
Are you a principal who is looking for a special way to recognize Childrens Book Week this year? You can share your love of reading and set a great example for students by reading aloud the five books nominated for the 2008 Principals Read Aloud Award.

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.

America's Battle of the Books: Dueling Readers Spar About Literature
Students choosing to read meaningful literature and avid readers from different schools working together as teams: does it sound too good to be true? America's "Battle of the Books" combines literature and friendly competition. Start a "battle" at your school!

Getting Kids to Read By Keeping Their Eyes on the Prize
Educators know that children who read and are read to are more likely to become life-long readers. That's why many schools are using reading incentives -- from reading honor rolls to "prize patrols" -- to encourage kids. And they're reading more as a result.

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

Anticipation Guides Improve Reading Comprehension
Use anticipation guides to help your students focus on the most important concepts in content-area reading assignments. (Grades K-12)

Breakfast Book Club: Feeding Bodies and Minds
Every school wants to foster a love of reading in students, but how can schools fit another reading activity into a packed educational day? Some schools are inviting kids to join in book discussions as they eat breakfast. Included: How to organize a breakfast book club.

Virtual Workshop: The Four Blocks Literacy Model
The Four Blocks Literacy Model, a balanced-literacy* framework for teaching language arts, is based on the premise that all children don't learn in the same way. The program integrates four components of reading instruction -- guided reading, self-selected reading, writing, and working with words.

Add Literature -- and Life -- to Content Instruction
Max Fischer bemoans his sterilized history text. Were it not for that text, however, he might not have been forced to "discover" the value of bringing quality literature into his history classroom. Included: Sources of quality literature.

Opening the Door: Teaching Students to Use Visualization to Improve Comprehension
Visualizing text is a proven way to improve reading comprehension. It is a technique that can be taught using this simple, step-by-step strategy from literacy consultant Cathy Puett Miller. Included: Tips and resources for developing students' comprehension skills.

A Day With Experience Corps Volunteers
They worked all over New York City, almost all of them in fields other than education. Now they are a team, helping first and second graders at P.S. 154 in Harlem learn to read. Included: Descriptions of an Experience Corps program.

Shared Reading: Listening Leads to Fluency and Understanding
Many middle and high school teachers use shared-reading -- an approach to teaching reading that engages students and makes them better readers. Included: Reading expert Dr. Janet Allen and two teachers offer tips for a successful start to shared reading.

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.

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
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, plus 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.

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.

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.

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"!

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.

New Paperback Spotlights Students' Best Writing
The teachers of Greenwood School created Greenthumb Publishing Company to "grow" better writers. With the help of School Success Press, Greenwood School families will soon have a bookstore-quality paperback of student writing to add to their home bookshelves.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Last updated 06/11/11