Celebrate Reading Month!

March kicks off National Reading Month, and as a voracious reader myself, it is always one of my favorite times of the year! Rather than celebrate using Dr. Seuss books, I love the shift in focus on reading ALL kinds of books, to represent ALL our students. Hurray for diversity in literature!
The National Education Association features a different theme with corresponding book each month. Finding Your Voice is the theme for March, highlighting the beautiful picture book, Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai. There is also chapter book for middle grades:  Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls' Rights with Patricia McCormick.  After reading Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed during The Global Read Aloud last fall, my kids were enamored by reading more about Pakistani culture and girls fighting for education. (And if you have not yet signed up for The Global Read Aloud 2019, click HERE now!)
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"So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall." – Roald Dahl
We discuss our "reading lives" throughout the year. In March, students take a "shelfie"; a photo of their bookshelf. It's fun to try and match the shelfie with the student by browsing the book titles and the organization (or not) of the bookshelves.

Having parents as guest readers is such a treat! They naturally tend to choose picture books reflective of their culture or of their family. Students beam with pride to see their mom or dad or grandparent reading to the class. Thanks to the darling clipart of Mae Hates Mondays, I created this Certificate of Appreciation to present to our guest readers. (I print them in color on cardstock.) Click on the image below to download your FREE copy!
You all know how much I love Patricia Polacco so I was delighted to discover The Mermaid's Purse. This book is based on her grandmother's story of loving books so much as a young girl that they take over her family's farmhouse. Along with her pa and neighbors, they build The Mermaid's Purse, which she uses as a lending library for her town. In true Polacco storytelling style, this is another must-read book about the power of reading and how books bring people together!
Dress like a Book Character Day is always a blast. My students choose a character from a book, dressing like him or her and writing three clues about the book on an index card. They each take a turn to stand up and read their clues to the class, while their peers guess the character and book. (The clues are important especially if they choose a book with a character who dresses just like them in regular school clothes; lol) This is a picture of my youngest daughter when she was Nancy Drew. She was upset I didn't let her wear "pumps" to school; she had to settle for her patent leather flats. And she insisted that Nancy Drew always carried a pocketbook and wore a headband. :)
Visits by authors during Reading Month are always a wonderful treat and inspiring to readers and young writers! Many authors do Skype interviews or webinars! Actor turned author, Henry Winkler captivated our students, sharing how his rough childhood became the basis for his misunderstood character, Hank Zipzer. And award-winning author, Marc Clark is always willing to speak to students about his writing process. We look forward to his visit each year! (And shhh. . . he may  have a new book coming out soon. . . in a totally unexpected genre! Stay tuned)
And the best advice for Reading Month? Let your students choose how they want to share their love of reading. I'm always overwhelmed by the thought and creativity put into book sharing projects, as students explain themes, character development, and demonstrate comprehension! Here are few of the latest Book Club projects my kids created: (Check out my IG feed for more details)
What are some ways you celebrate reading? You don't want to miss the MANY fabulous ideas of my podcast besties! (Spoiler alert: FREEBIES!)
Be sure to listen to our latest podcast episode for even more ideas for March is Reading Month! Click on the logo below.