Book & Reading Promotions

How do you promote great books & reading to your students? Do your students review books for their classmates? Do they make book trailers or ads? Do you have a great idea for a reading encouragement activity that has worked well in your school?

Share your reading promotion ideas here!




Book Bag Program

I started a rotating classroom library called the "book bag" program. Each classroom had enough Ziploc book bags for each child in the classroom plus a few extras. Each bag was numbered. Once a month the class would visit the library to select books for the book bags. Into each bag there would be a book that students could "read for themselves" (a wordless picture book, an alphabet book, books with few words, highly illustrated books, etc.) and one book that could be read to the child by an older sibling, parent, friend, or caregiver (a good read-aloud picture book, folktale, nonfiction animal book, etc).

Each day as the students went home, they took a different book bag, rotating throughout the month. The teacher would keep a list on a clipboard to record the book bag number next to the child's name. This means each student would have 5 books read to them and 5 books they would read aloud to someone in their home per week. Students would have read 40 books per month (400 books per year).

The outcome of our book bags program was increased parental involvement. Through including culturally relevant books, bilingual books, and Spanish books we encouraged strong interpersonal connections as well as increased literacy levels among entire families, particularly the immigrant families in our community who desperately needed access to materials to increase their literacy levels. (Keisa Williams)
Writing an article for Teacher Librarian about this. Will post the link when it publishes, February 2012.

Bobcat Book Reviews

I adapted this book review format in 2007, with permission, from a book review program at Runkle Elementary in Brookline, Mass. I think Liz Davis is the teacher who developed it for Runkle. She has since left that elementary school, I believe. It doesn't look like the program is still active at Runkle, but the original book reviews that her students did can still be accessed here I have used this format to create audio book reviews as well as using PhotoStory to make video book trailers. I found that the video trailers just took too much time though. In my schedule, I have students for only 25 min/week in the library, including checkout time. We were trying to do the trailers after school, and it became too cumbersome. We've gone back to audio reviews, and it's a little easier to get them done in a timely manner. This year I am training a team of 4 4th graders to be my "experts" in using Audacity to create these reviews. I'm hoping that it will help me get them done faster! They are loving being the "expert team" too! I purposely did not chose students from the super-high-achieving group for my team. I chose 4 students who were eager to learn, and who are good, average students that don't always get to be in the limelight. They are doing a great job so far! :)

Podcast Book Review Worksheet.doc

African American Read In

Schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, community and professional organizations, and interested citizens are urged to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by hosting and coordinating Read-Ins in their communities. Hosting a Read-In can be as simple as bringing together friends to share a book, or as elaborate as arranging public readings and media presentations that feature professional African American writers.

2011 National African American Read-In

Resource Center Wiki

These are ideas to keep kids sharing what they read! This is how and why Jamie Forrest created the Resource Center Wiki.
Blog Post- Resource Center Wiki (by @fiteach)

Texas Reading Club Elementary Programs

The Texas Reading Club is designed to encourage youth to read for pleasure and to promote library usage.
A statewide theme is selected each year that emphasizes ways in which reading expands young minds and encourages children to use their imaginations. It also reminds young people that reading can be great fun.
A handbook is created each year to aid in planning and programming, and the handbook, along with posters, reading logs, bookmarks, and certificates are offered by the Texas State Library to encourage participation and support of this important program.
Texas Reading Club Elementary Programs