Monday, May 24, 2010

Ideas for Your Library

There are many ways to use this blog as a springboard to library lessons and/or collaboration with other teachers.

*Use the information on this blog to see the new award winning books. You may want to develop your library collection...what better way than to include award winning books! Do you need more multicultural literature? Check out the Coretta Scott King or the Pura Belpré Awards.

*If your budget is tight, create a "Books for Birthdays" (and other special events) promotion. Have a list of award winning books appropriate for your level. Parents of students can order (through you) a book and have a label placed in the front signifying the child's name, event, and date.

*Ask your PTA, ASB, or community business if they will provide funds to buy books in a certain award category. Put book labels in the front of those books to thank the donor(s).

*Hold mock elections to choose a book that the students will vote on. Students can nominate books in a particular category - best illustrations, best picture book, best teen adventure novel...choose a category you'd like to have the students devour. You could choose to have a range of publishing dates...or not. You set the boundaries, the students will read many books to decide which is their favorite and vote. Kids will encourage their friends to read their favorite book in order to vote on them. You can name this award after your school, such as "Skyline's Best Picture Book Award". Everyone wins because they've read some great books. Works with all age groups.

*After teaching about the Newbery and Caldecott Awards, go to Clinton Ave Elementary School for some quizzes and games about these awards. Beware, they can be tough!

*Set up displays of award winning books. Many children will have heard of the Newbery and Caldecott Awards. Have they heard of the Golden Key or the Michael L. Printz Award? Find as many of the books as you can, teach about them a bit, and see them fly off the shelves.

*Show a video about an award. The Pura Belpré Award is a short, 12 minute video that promotes Latina and Latino writing. I found it very endearing and would imagine children wanting to try writing and illustrating to keep their heritage alive, no matter what their background. Use this as a kick-off to a unit on cultural background. Video information is in the bibliography.

*Have students make trading cards of award winning books. You can keep it to one award or have them do many, perhaps just the books your library owns. On the backs include author, illustrator, year published and year of award. Then photocopy (in color if available) and give to students when they finish reading a book. What a collection they could gather!

*Have students write congratulatory letters to the authors or illustrators of award winning books that they have read. Have them include praise for the book, being specific about their favorite parts or scenes.

*Interview me! Have the student do research on award winning authors or illustrators and learn all they can. Set up a "talk show" with a host(ess) who will ask basic questions of the author/illustrator (student) in a mock interview. Kids would love to dress up to play their part.

*Map it! Mark places on a map to show 1)Where winning authors/illustrators reside. 2)Settings of award winning books. 3)Countries where authors/illustrators live(d).

*If you're doing the Young Readers Choice, Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award, or Sasquatch Award, use the tallied votes to make graphs to show students and compare voting patterns. It also makes a good example for teaching Excel graphing. This may part of your curriculum.

*Collect facts (from this blog and the links provided) about the award(s) you are teaching. Create a Jeopardy-type game with the information.

*See the book Children's Book Awards by Diana F. Marks for many activities and worksheets designed around specific awards (see bibliography). It also contains detailed background on the people for whom the awards are named. You may want a copy for your library!

*To see a calendar of when awards are announced, click DAWCL Calendar of Awards. Mark on your own calendar when the awards you are interested in are announced and bookmark the above website.

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