Activities and Lessons
for Language Arts

Documenting Favorite Books
~ Sally Thomas

At the beginning of the year I had kids write a list of their 10 favorite books - just casually on a piece of paper. I kept that stack in my desk drawer. Many didn't even have 10. Then in February, not long before spring open house I had them choose their top 10. Oh my -- such deep conversations. Could they choose a book they had totally loved in first grade? Of course if it deserved a spot. Many found ways to include many by just saying everything by Roald Dahl or Ray Bradbury or.....

First, I noticed that week at library time the kids came back in a buzz. Many as it turns out had gone and checked out childhood favorites. The whole class had a ball revisiting and talking aobut those.

Second they created visual posters including their book titles and we posted them for open house.

Third, we took them down later and I gathered them in a single book to put in the library. Those books were SO important in motivating readers the following year. Kids saw their brothers, sisters, kids they looked up to.

Finally I passed back their list of 10 from fall and they reflected on the changes. Again much great dialogue. They learned about themselves and about each other, and I think I learned most of all.

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