Read Across America in the Middle School

Read Across America is an annual event that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss. Most elementary schools celebrate in a variety of ways, including:

  • Allowing students to dress up each day of the week
  • Allowing students and staff to wear creative and fun hats
  • Engaging classes of students in creating collaborative stories
  • Holding author studies with their librarian
  • Celebrating with a Seuss Party with creative treats

                          

I did so many exciting activities and held fun contests when I was in an elementary school library. My students looked forward to it every year.

So many fun activities to do with elementary students…but what about the middle school students? Have they outgrown it?

Middle School

Now I am in a middle school library, 5th-8th grades. I couldn’t quite give up all the fun. So, last year I recruited several students to read to elementary classes across our county via Skype and Google Hangouts; we called it Read Across the County. My students chose books that were short and entertaining. Everyone enjoyed it!

 

This year, my students will:

  • Read Across the County from February 25-March 1, using Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom
  • Use makerspace supplies to create fantastical story dioramas
  • Use www.padlet.com (Storyboard) to tell their own creative story
  • Create a book talk for their favorite picture book and share it on www.flipgrid.com

My students will continue to Read Across America after March 1 by reading picture books to students across America.

If you would be interested in setting up a Skype or Google Hangout visit with one of my students please leave me a comment below this blog article or contact me on Twitter @rondahughes10.

We hope to read to all 50 states in 2019.

mm

Author: Ronda Hughes

Ronda Hughes is a Middle School Library Media Specialist in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She has 21 years experience in public education as: a Physical Education teacher, 5th grade Literacy teacher and a library media specialist. Hughes has served as Tri-Lakes Reading Council President, Arkansas Reading Association Intellectual Chair, Alpha Delta Kappa Vice President, and Arkansas Association of Instructional Media Board Member. She has been on numerous committees such as; Arkansas Department of Education K-8 Computer Science Standards and Library Media Standards, Garland County READS, Arkansas Diamond Book Award Committee, Charlie May Simon Book Award Committee, just to name a few.



Categories: Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration, Makerspaces/Learning Commons, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models, Technology

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1 reply

  1. Just a few friendly reminders for Read Across America Celebrations:

    It’s no longer a celebration of Dr. Seuss: http://neatoday.org/2019/09/16/neas-read-across-america-rebrands-with-new-mission/
    1. A white male author with a history of racism: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/its-time-to-talk-about-dr-seuss
    2. In posting a research paper on social media, the researchers wrote, “Almost every book and biography on Seuss’s work to-date has been done by white researchers. As scholars of color, this article is unique in that it is written by members of groups Seuss explicitly degraded and dehumanized across his hundreds of racist works. We also write from our positionality as scholar-parents of children of color, and discuss how that informs our work and advocacy—not only a personal level, but a national policy level.” https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=new-study-published-on-racism-and-dr-seuss
    3. Reading Across America with 50 Inclusive Picture Books: http://www.heisereads.com/2020/03/reading-across-america-with-50.html#.Xl1P36hKiUk
    4. In moving away from Dr. Seuss, you are encouraged to celebrate diversity and inclusion: http://neatoday.org/2020/02/27/read-across-america-2020/
    5. https://www.readacrossamerica.org/about-read-across-america/

    While he and many of his books are beloved, I encourage you to take a look at who and what we as school librarians promote. You can still like him and his books, but reconsider celebrating him in your library. Celebrate reading, celebrate diversity, celebrate books, because when we know better, we do better.

    “Because we cannot let nostalgia guide our decisions. Because we cannot allow racist or stereotyped imagery to be part of what we promote through our read aloud choices. Because we cannot refuse to move on from the past and bypass our responsibility to represent the entirety of what America is about today.” Jillian Heise

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