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Garden City School Library: Reading Plans

Essential Question

How can I find new books to read that match my interests and preferences?

September - Judging by Covers

  • Introduction: Ideally, library shelves would be empty during the school year, meaning that students love our collection. Part of my job is to choose books that kids will read. During the year, students will get a chance to examine purchases and donations, decide which ones they want to read, and make recommendations for future picks. Today we will preview the books bought with district money (note: our budget is approximately $750).
  • Activity: Students will compile an annual reading plan (see file below), recording new books they are interested in, whether they've put them on hold, and their rating after reading. Thanks to Melanie Roy for this idea!

Mid-Late October - RICBA

  • Review: Remind students how the Rhode Island Children's Book Award process works. Paper form is below.
  • Activity: Hand out copies of the book list and give the students several minutes to review the plot summaries. Ask them to circle the titles that sound the most intriguing. (Note: They already saw the list the previous June and had the opportunity to watch trailers.)  Use this Google Sheet to record the number of kids who are interested in reading each title. Then show the students how to make a simple bar chart.

    Students can then add titles to their reading plans. (NOTE: Any student who reads a RICBA title on their own and fills out a form receives both a classwork and participation point.)

  • Follow-up: Read Growing Up Pedro to the students to coincide with the World Series. Students may complete the extra credit below if they wish.


Early October - Jacket Copy

  • Introduction: Ask the kids what makes them decide to read a book. If nobody mentions jacket copy, introduce the term. Explain that for hardcover books, it appears on the inside front cover flap; on paperbacks, it appears on the back cover.
  • Activity: Tell students about the Rhode Island Festival of Children's Authors and Illustrators, held annually at the Lincoln School in Providence. Go through a pile of books by this year's featured speakers (many purchased via DonorsChoose) and share the plot descriptions written on the jackets.

    Students can then add titles to their reading plans.

  • Assessment: At checkout, students must point out something in the jacket copy of at least one book that piqued their interest.

November - Book Fair

  • Week of: Students may go shopping for the library by filling out one of the lists below, and I'll spend our Scholastic Dollars from the previous year on the most popular requests.
  • Week after: Students can add new titles to their reading plans (NOTE: Because adding items to the catalog by hand is time-intensive, the books may not be available yet).

November - Online Resources

  • Introduction: Explain that one way to find a new book is to get a list of "readalikes" for a book you already know you enjoyed. 
  • Activity: Show the students how to access and use Novelist and Goodreads. Handout is below.
  • Extra Credit: See file below.

Standards Addressed

AASL: 4.1.1. - Read, view, and listen for pleasure and personal growth; 4.1.2. - Read widely and fluently to make connections with self, the world, and previous reading; 4.1.4 - Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres; 4.1.7 - Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information; 4.2.4 - Show an appreciation for literature by electing to read for pleasure; 

Common Core: R10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.