Who Doesn’t Love a Celebration?


Alice Celebration

As a 9 year old, completing a novel is a great feat!  Before now, many have never experienced the mixed emotions that come with saying goodbye to newly found friends and foes.  I’ve found that taking part in a book celebration helps to kindle a passion for reading, makes saying goodbye to characters just a bit easier, and encourages students to look forward toward their next big literary adventure.

So far this year, we’ve completed a kid friendly version of The Phantom of the Opera, after which we made masks as disguises for the masquerade ball, and Invasion of the Appleheads, after which we drank cider and ate peanut brittle, hoping that we were not turned into zombie children or applehead dolls.  We made paper cranes in hopes that Sadako would live on, in, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, and did graffiti wall visualizations and fire safety after reading, I Survived: The Great Chicago Fire, 1871. 

Most recently, we conquered Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  With a bit of pinning (thanks, Pinterest) and planning, our book celebration was a hit.

Alice Celebration Eat
With a little washi tape and some toothpicks, boring bananas were transformed into a desirable treat. 
Alice Celebration Drink Me
“This time she found a little bottle on it, (‘which was certainly not here a before,’ said Alice), and tied round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words ‘DRINK ME’ beautifully printed on it in large letters.”

The best part is that I’ve already been bombarded with questions about what our next Shared Reading text will be when we get back from our holiday break.  I’d like to jump into another classic, but I think that Sarah, Plain and Tall will be our quick read, before tackling The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, my personal favorite.


Book Club: Getting Started

As a 4th grade teacher, and a newly “born-again” reader, my goal is to help children find a passion for reading. To do this, I’ve decided that reading needs to be enjoyable. In my classroom, I try to engage students in literacy in a variety of ways, while exposing them to high quality texts.

After getting the idea from a colleague, I decided to venture into the world of recess time book clubs. (To be honest, I wasn’t sure who would show up, but after only one day of sign ups, I already had 7 takers.)

First, I decided on a fun read for 4th graders.  Recently I came across the narrative, Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin.  This unique point of view, on an old favorite, provides lots for students to mull over in their minds, therefore making a great book to discuss. 

Once the book was chosen, I got to do the fun part…organizing the event!

I made up book club flyers, and for those who signed up, I made snazzy,  first meeting invitations. 

For next week: At the first meeting, my game plan is to use the 3, 2, 1 graphic organizer I designed, to have students talk about themselves as readers before reading aloud the original tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Then, we’ll dive into Chapter One. We shall see how it plays out! 

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