How to Celebrate Read Across America

Read Across America  (RAA) always falls on Theodor Geisel’s birthday without coincidence.  The goal was to create a day to motivate children to read and to celebrate the joys of reading. RAA has been linked to the classic Dr. Seuss books for years with schools dressing up as characters, sharing his work, and cooking green eggs and ham. Ever since Dr. Seuss has been linked to major criticism with allegations that The Cat in the Hat and other Seuss books are racist, the National Education Association let loose of Seuss.  They want all kids to see themselves in popular culture.  Now they are celebrating reading with diverse books during the event.

Even though a child who might bring in their favorite Dr. Seuss book to share with their classmates on their “Show and Tell” day should never be discouraged to share their love of a book, change can be good! This post is not to bash or support Dr. Seuss. Educators are trained professionals and should be trusted to use what is best for their students to promote reading with students. I personally used his work in the past to teach positive lessons about inclusion, social justice, and responsibility for years. However, I encourage you to look and listen to both viewpoints before you move forward with your reading week celebrations to form an intelligent conclusion about what types of books should be included in your week.

Read Across America Dress Up Day Ideas

Everyone loves to include dress-up days during the reading week.  Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Dress for Success
  • Rainbow Day (Reading is Colorful… Diverse books)
  • Hat Day
  • Camouflage Day (read books about animals)
  • Neon Day (Reading makes you BRIGHT… Science books)
  • Wacky Day (Wear clothes backward, mismatched, crazy hair)
  • Character Day (Dress up like your favorite book character)
  • Pajama Poem Day
  • Wax Museum Biography Dress Up Day

Magic School Bus

FRESH Read Across America Activities

My favorite reading celebration activity now is to have a Book Tasting!
This is where students get to read a little (a taste) of different book genres.  You can use any books you have access to from the library.  Students read them for a few minutes and then switch to a different genre.  This does require a little prep to set up the room to look like a restaurant, but this resource can help you out! It is a fun escape room with the book tasting! You can have it low key with the printed placemat or go all fancy with students dressing nice and you dressing up as a hostess or waiter.

Book Tasting Escape Room

Wacky Week Ideas

Do you love Wacky Wednesday? Why not do a whole WACKY week of reading activities?

For math, have wacky reading word problems to solve. Invite students to create a wacky animal with different animal parts.  Then, they can write about their animal with details. Using any rhyming book, have students create a wacky rhyme. Use mystery pictures of hidden objects that are out of place for students to find. Make a day of Where is Wacky Waldo and share those books. Mess your room up with an upside-down clock or socks sticking out of the tissue box, see if the kids even notice during the week.

Try a Wacky Digital Escape with your students! This one has riddles, puzzles, hidden pictures in art, and non-sense word activities. If you are virtual, let them wear their favorite wacky hat while they do the escape.

March Themed Activities

Finding reading resources that are March-themed can be used with any book during the week.  You can do a reading Write the Room activity with words like library, spine, characters, fiction, etc…  Rhyming words, nonsense words, St. Patrick’s Day-themed activities in any subject area can inspire reading across curricular.  Students can take a reading pledge and get certificates or bookmarks to encourage reading. March is a great time to introduce reading about hot air balloons.  The season for hot air balloon rides runs from April to October. Kids are fascinated with them!  Curious Gorge has a book about hot air balloons.  Others include The Great Balloon Hullaballoo, The Noon Balloon, The sky Above my Eyes, and My Hot Air Balloon.

Free Reading Pledge Printables

Some teachers use a circus theme in primary grades to promote reading during the week celebration.  Their activities included books about animals, popcorn, snacks during reading/writing time, animal and clown crafts, guest story readers, dress-up clown day, Write the Room activities where students look for book titles, and ended with a reading carnival with prizes and games.

elephant hatElephant Hat – Never Forget Reading Rocks

What’s the Point?

The purpose of having Read Across America is to get your students reading! Not just to read, but to enjoy it, love it, and want MORE! Whatever theme you choose, make sure you are sharing your joy of reading books with your students.  Then, watch them grow.

Grab a FREE Reading Pledge and bookmarks

Read more about using Theme Days to Teach in Elementary

Let us know what activities you will be doing to encourage reading!

 

Read Across America, Book Tastings and MARCH Lesson Plans

Hello Teacher Brains!

I hope you all have ready for some March fun with your students!  My dad would say, “Work hard and play hard.”  So, before you hit Spring Break, let’s talk about a lot of work that has gone into helping to ease your workload, but still makes you look like you have been laboring 24/7!

No More Seuss?

Next week is Read Across America Week.  Did you know that they are rebranding?  The week is no longer limited to Dr. Seuss for the celebration.  They even have a new logo that appeals to students of all ages, backgrounds and will celebrate a nation of diverse readers.  Of course, who doesn’t enjoy dressing up like Dr. Seuss characters and serving green eggs and ham, but now the new theme is opening ideas for more activities and resources to encourage reading!

This brings me to my NEW baby! Okay, it’s not a human baby, but I birthed it! Lol

Book Tasting Escape Room

I loved the idea of doing a Book Tasting for the celebration, but I also love doing Escape Rooms.  So, I made a resource to include both! Check it out!  You just add books, plates and tablecloths to the celebration while students discover a challenge and work to beat the clock by “tasting” different book genres.  The genres include non-fiction, fiction, biographies and poetry.  There is a fun video to use at the beginning to HOOK your students.  You can decorate your room simple with adding plates and table clothes or go all out making it a Harry Potter theme or Pizza restaurant.  The sky’s the limit!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon too! This is one of my favorite weeks with leprechaun footprints, glitter and messy rooms.  Here are some of my favorite resources:

St. Patrick’s Day Escape the Room K-3

St. Patrick's Day Escape Room

Leprechaun Headband (hilarious!  The kids love this one!)

Rainbow Craft

How to Catch a Leprechaun Writing

The Paper Leprechaun Activity

Lucky Charms Sorting and Graphing

Leprechaun Unit with Writing and Crafts

Color by Sight Word St. Patrick’s Day Edition

NEW *****NEW****** NEW ******NEW ********NEW

If you Give a STEM Challenge!  This is my new series of STEM activities that relate to Laura Numberoff  books.  She is one of my favorite authors.  I was even LUCKY enough to meet her one time when I first began teaching.  She inspired me to be a writer.  I have two completed.

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie has students reading the story and building a mouse house!  This one is good for primary and intermediate students with different activities to differentiate in a SNAP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Give a Pig A Pancake has student reading the story and building a treehouse for the pig’s brother. So much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need editable word wall templates?  Well, I have you covered with this download.  Just type your words in the text boxes provided, pick your favorite fonts and colors to match your room!

Editable Word Wall Templates

FIRST GRADE TEACHERS,

Check out the 120th Day of School Mystery Escape Room!

I hope you all have a fantastic month! Make sure you are subscribe to my website newsletter so you can keep up with new releases, teacher-author courses and giveaways.

Sprinkling Lucky Fairy Dust on YOU so you can have a great month!

-Cindy

Read Across America Ideas

Dr. Seuss is the perfect author to inspire students of all ages to read.  As teachers, we love to share his work during Read Across America Week and to celebrate his birthday with March activities.

Here are some great ideas to help you inspire your students with reading themed activities.

Red fish

One Fish , Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is a classic delightful book that helps students with colors and counting skills.  Have students make their own colored fish to display in the room.

Oh The Places

Read Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.  Then, have students make their own hot air balloon craft.  They can even write about where they would go.  I like to use tissue paper or wallpaper squares to decorate the balloon.

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Wacky Wednesday is a fun way to spend a Wednesday during Read Across America with Dr. Seuss.  While the students are at lunch or recess, make your classroom “wacky” by changing the clock, hanging things like shoes from the ceiling, putting socks inside the tissue box or turning a desk upside down.  Then, have students see how many “wacky” items they can find out of place.  They can play rhyming games this day or make a “wacky” animal using different animal body parts.

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How about these cute Halloween printable glasses?  You can easily turn them into something creative during the week for students to wear during reading time.  Tell them that the glasses are magical and help them to focus on the story you are reading.

Invite a guest in who dresses up like one of the characters from Dr. Seuss’ books to read to the class. Make sure to have a CRAZY SOCK day also to go with the Fox in Socks books.  I also like to ask students to send in their favorite Seuss books to share with each other during reading time.  I have them find rhyming words in the books.   They love it!

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Ask parents to send in a special treat for a day like these yummy Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes.  Make task cards with Seuss colors like this WHAT CAN I DO WHEN I’M DONE for Early Finishers.

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Of course, no Read Across America celebration would be complete without making Green Eggs and Ham with your students. (Check for allergies first.)  I had my students make these hats out of paper plates.  No matter what, have fun with your students this week.  This is a great week for students to explore new words, use their imaginations, and feel inspired to read a good book!

 

Sources for Printables: http://bit.ly/2HLe8s3