“We shouldn’t teach great books, we should teach a love of reading.”
May is Get Caught Reading Month, an annual activity first sponsored in 1999 by the Association of American Publishers. Their goal was to remind people of all ages that it is fun to read. As you approach the end of your school year, Get Caught Reading Month is a fantastic opportunity to inspire students to love reading and continue reading throughout the summer for enjoyment.
Are you looking for some new ideas for you and your students to try to get caught reading? Try these quick and easy activities that will inspire even the most reluctant readers:
- Start a book club in your classroom – allow students to choose a book and their partners to share in reading activities. Pedagogy has proven that when students have a choice, they care more about the activity and show more willingness to participate.
- Get Outside! – Find a comfortable reading area outdoors. Bring blankets, pillows, and snacks as you all enjoy the fresh air.
- Take lots of pictures to add to your classroom blog or website – take pictures of students reading and ask them to share a quick review of their book. If you like, use a tool like Thinglink and add student recordings to images you share.
- Start a conversation about books using Flipgrid. Flipgrid is an amazing video response tool for sharing thoughts about any subject. Create your question, perhaps asking students to share their favorite book and give a quick review. Peers can then add their comments to any discussion to create a video book conversation.
- Organize a photo contest – ask students to take and share pictures of people in the community reading (be sure that they ask permission first!). Award prizes for the person that takes the most pictures, favorite picture, or most unusual setting. Use Dotstorming to upload images for students to vote for their favorite image.
- Invite a mystery reader to read to your classroom. Ask a community member, administrator, or coach to come to your class and read each week during Get Caught Reading Month. Students enjoy seeing new faces in the classroom, and they also learn that everyone is a reader.
- Turn off electronics and encourage students to read physical books. Refresh your classroom library with new and interesting reading materials.
- Turn on electronics and share sites for digital books. Some sites to include are Loyal Books featuring books for all ages, Planet ebook with over 80 classic books for free download, and Epic! including high-quality books for grades K-5.
Students of all ages relate to celebrities. Print and share these posters from the Get Caught Reading website with your students. In addition to the celebrity posters, this site also includes some computer wallpapers and Members of Congress reading posters. Use this as inspiration to find local celebrities and politicians and catch them reading. Add a speech bubble to the image using a photo editing tool such as BeFunky to share a descriptive word about their book.
For even more ideas to promote reading, be sure to check out Reading for All. This portion of TeachersFirst provides an extensive collection of ideas to promote reading across the curriculum and for all grade levels. Here you will find suggested book lists, family reading activities, reading strategies, and much more.
Get Caught Reading Month is an excellent opportunity for you and your students to read just for enjoyment. Take advantage of this opportunity to try new books and activities that celebrate the pure pleasure of reading.
Do you celebrate Get Caught Reading Month? We would love to hear your favorite activities; please share in the comments section.