Helping kids love reading has been my mission for years, and this month, my school hosted a month long celebration of literacy. We called it, “We Love Reading Month”, and this post highlights all the things we did.
Introducing We Love Reading Month:
The first step in our planning was to name the event. We chose “We Love Reading Month” because that was our goal. It was short and too the point. The kids at my school love reading, and they’ve done very well with our reading incentive program. Some teacher incorporate 40 Book Challenges and other plans, but our librarian also has a very well oiled program in place. However, we wanted to spread the love so to speak. Additionally, we hoped to involve our parents too.
Conversation Hearts help Students Love Reading
The first step of our month long plan involved conversation hearts. We had our students complete heart shaped book reviews independently, in their classrooms, or with their parents (Pre K and Kindergarten) at home. The heart shaped forms were printed on pink paper.
Once returned, teachers strung them throughout the halls for other children to see/read. Why? Well, these “conversation hearts” lead to book “conversations” which helped students create plans for what to read next. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see our walls covered. I hope that it will lead to increased reading and growth down the road too.
Student Examples of our “we love reading” hearts
Here is an example of the kindergarten review. In this example, the student drew a picture of the spider in a tree which is one of the scenes in the book. The space at the bottom is for the parent to fill in the book shared, author, and child’s name. At the end of the month, we did a giveaway of a little library for one winner per grade level.
In grades 2-5, students wrote a paragraph about the book the read. These book review forms were included in writing stations during the month.
Other Plans for We Love reading Month:
Read, Read, and Read S’more Night
In addition to the conversation heart projects, we also hosted a wonderful culminating activity with our parents. It was called, Read, Read, and Read S’more Night, and it’s exactly what we say.
Each teacher set up his/her classroom in a camping theme. Teachers were encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character (Mrs. Wishy Washy, the Crayon from The Day the Crayons Quit, the Gruffalo, or even the mouse in Take a Mouse to the Movies). Teachers shared their favorite book three times and parents/students rotated every 15 minutes for story time.
At the end of each session, each teacher gave a copy of the book away to someone in the audience. (We had MANY happy kids!). Finally, we served s’mores and hot cocoa in the cafeteria. Here is one of my favorite pictures of the evening! The place was packed!
Read Across America Day Assembly
On the last day of the month, it happened to be Read Across America Day. Since some students couldn’t make it to the night time event, we wanted to offer something special during the school day. To celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, we had an assembly to share skits, poems, and songs about reading. We also announced our giveaway winners.
Interested in borrowing this idea?
Ready to organize this for your school too? No problem! I’d love to have this done at any school that’s interested, and I’m sharing the materials to make it easy for you. With this freebie, please feel free to make as many copies as you need or modify the letter as you like. I included our school’s parent letter as well as a blank template that you can use to create your own. Simply type up the letter in Word and print like you would on stationary. I hope we can spread the love of reading to all of our students.
Build Reading Motivation with Conversation Hearts
Other Ideas that Help Students Love reading:
- Strategies Teachers Can Use to Build a Love of Literacy
- Five Things Parents Can Do to Support Literacy Learning at Home
- Five Schoolwide Parental Involvement Activities that will Hook Them In