Today is Read Across America Day (March 2)! Established in 1998, the goal of Read Across America Day is to motivate all areas of society to engage in reading. Classrooms across the country will host special guests who’ll read aloud to students, schools will decorate hallways and libraries with images from their favorite stories, and children will happily share their own well-loved books with others. Use today to launch National Reading Month and encourage your students to experience the joys of reading through various activities that highlight what the written word can do! Here are three ideas to start:1. Buffet of Books
Provide students with a ‘buffet of books’ - picture books, comic books, beginner chapter books, novels, and so on. The books should also encompass a wide variety of genres, subjects, themes, and topics. Allow students to pick and choose from the buffet, helping them ‘taste’ the different types of books available.
Art connection: Have students draw/paint the different books as foods on a plate or table. Take pics of their artwork and create a slideshow to share on the classroom interactive display.2. Mirrors and Windows
Take a trip to the school or community library and have students search for books that are mirrors and books that are windows. A mirror reflects one's own culture, firsthand experiences, and helps build identity. A window provides views into another’s experiences. Mirrors and windows allow students a deeper view into self and society, helping them learn about themselves and others. *
STEM connection: Have students display their mirror and window books. Using 3D printed mirror and window tokens, classmates can guess which books are mirrors and windows. This can prompt conversations about identity and self.3. Motivational Markers
Have students select motivational and inspirational quotes from favorite books and design book markers. Gift the bookmarkers to a local senior center, hospital, or youth agency. Before gifting, take pics of each and create a short video to stream on a school messaging platform.
Of course, these ideas are just a touch of the breadth and variety of activities teachers have used with amazing outcomes through the years. Make National Reading Month an interactive and engaging time for your students in which they realize that reading is a gift and a habit worth developing.
For a list of SEL-related books, read the blog Building Relationship Skills to Support Social-Emotional Learning. You can find it by clicking here.