Books are great all year round no matter the season or the weather. No one month owns books. March, however, is one of my favorite times to celebrate books. That’s all thanks to my professor for one of my core literacy instruction classes and middle school instructional strategies when I was an undergraduate. He was the first one who ever mentioned Read Across America to me. He took a number of us down to the Milwaukee middle school where he had taught until the previous school year to do some readers’ theater. One of the things read was the riddle game from the Hobbit when Bilbo first meets Gollum and encounters The Ring. Guess who got to read Gollum? It was fantastic fun though eighth graders do eye you a bit oddly for hissing out ‘My Precious’. (I’m not one to equate standing in front of large groups of people with fantastic fun).
I ran into Read Across America again at my first school where I worked in several first grade classrooms. Read Across America was creating word families on Cat-in-the-Hat Hats. It was lists of the kids’ favorite books posted all around the school. It was teachers switching rooms at the start of the morning to be guest readers. It was opening the walls between two of the first grade rooms and running Seuss themed literacy centers. It was the first graders making the principal read with my stuffed Lorax next to him because The Lorax was his favorite Seuss book. It was also creating different wockets with a class. I made a quick sample for them and my ‘hocket’ is still up on a wall. It’s a hockey playing wocket.
Last year I had classes sign up to come up to the library to be read to for Read Across America. I loved getting to see other grade levels as I predominantly work with third and fourth grade. It was also a fun time to share some of my favorite newer books. This year we’re going to do things a little bit differently. We are expanding our reading celebrations throughout the month.
On March 2, I will be one of three guest readers available to read to different classrooms throughout the day. I’m planning on reading from the Bippolo Seed. On March 5 we will be starting a school wide graph of feet (in honor of the Foot Book) for the books that we read throughout the month. They’ll start going up by the office and I’m hoping they’ll get to wrap around the school by the time we are done.
For my monthly newsletter to the elementary staff I looked for some great resources about Dr. Seuss for Read Across America. Here are some of them:
Seussville – Home to video clips about the books, author information, games, activities and more. The biography includes an interactive timeline. There is a teacher’s section too.
Teachingbooks.net (Subscription. In WI, your public library provides this for you if you have a library card)
Read Across America – You can see the cast of the Lorax rhyming about reading.
Read Across America resources from Apple4theteacher
Scholastic Read Across America article and resources – http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2011/02/preparing-read-across-america-day
BrainPOP Jr – (Subscription site) Celebrate authors Jon Scieszka and Cynthia Ryland with their BrainPOP Jr. movies as well
What are some of your favorite Dr. Suess/Read Across America Resources?
Read Across America isn’t the only reason March is a great month for books. There’s also World Read Aloud Day.