Q: What are some creative ways to keep track of books read at home? I want my children to have a museum of sorts which highlights the wonderful literature they explore both at home and in school.
A: With National Read across America Day approaching in early March, it is a perfect time to gear up reading time at home. Children’s bedrooms and play areas are strewn with books; whether they are old or new or chapter books or picture books they are all loved. And, they should all be celebrated.
Instead of reading a book and placing it back on the shelf, leave a reminder behind, showcasing the imprint it made on your child and your family. Creating a simple paper chain is a great way to start. Every time a book is read in your home, create a link from construction paper and have your child write the name and author of the book, along with a picture representing something she loved about it. Hang the paper chain around your home, letting it be a festive decoration of your love of literature.
If your child is a mini critic, allow him to read a book and create a book review. Including what he liked and did not like about the story, have him decide if he would recommend it to another person. This is an easy way to get your child thinking about story elements such as plot, character and setting without realizing the educational importance behind the activity. Hang their recommendations around your home, possibly creating a “Critics Corner” for guests, friends and family to read. Take it a step further and contact your local library to see if they would be interested in showcasing any of your child’s reviews.
An engaging way to showcase your child’s knowledge of the kooky, funny and one-of-a-kind characters read in stories is to create a character hat. Choose a favorite character, such as Ramona Quimby or Max from Where the Wild Things Are and using various art supplies, create a hat representing him or her. Include items such as the character’s favorite toys, food, friends or a place that is special to that character. If you are reading the Magic Tree House series, include items found by Jack and Annie on their latest adventure. Get more creative and form the hat into a shape that directly relates to the book, such as making a hat in the shape of a crayon if you read Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Your family’s love of books can be turned into a visual celebration that is represented many ways throughout your home. It encourages children to take pride in this wonderful habit and share their love of reading with the world. Happy Reading!
***If you have an educational question related to this topic or any other educational area, just ASK AMANDA! You can contact her at [email protected] or respond below in the comments section below.
Amanda Lehrman, founder of TheMommaFiles, is a trained teacher and curriculum consultant. She attended Fordham University and received an M.S.T in Elementary Education and has worked with the Accelerated Literacy Learning program as well as Teachers College Reading and Writing projects, Kaplan K-12 and Catapult Learning. Amanda currently teaches 3rd through 5th grade students in a Gifted & Talented program in Edison, NJ.
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