Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Love for Reading: Lead by Example

A great way to encourage reading and teach students how fun it can be is to model reading.  One of my schools created a picture wall in the library.   Since then, other schools have customized it for their needs.  Some made a simple display, others turned it into a contest and one asked students to bring in their own pictures to add.
This is a mock up of a contest where students are challenged to match the book cover to the staff member who read it.
It started as a promotion for Summer Reading and was easy to create. Ask your staff - teachers, custodians, support staff, principals, volunteers - to bring in or email photos of themselves reading over the summer. Encourage people to get creative. It doesn't just have to be of the person sitting in a chair holding a book, although that is fine too. As you can see from some of these pictures below, there are a lot of options. The only limitations is the reader's creativity.  I have seen pictures of people holding a book on a roller coaster, dressed up in tuxedos and others dressed in vibrant PJs or onesies with fuzzy bunny slippers.  Do anything to have fun with the picture.

Is your staff camera shy? Don't let them miss out on this!  I have had people submit pictures of their pets reading or pictures in silhouette of them reading, or even pictures of the book from their point of view with the book on their lap and their feet stretched out in front.  They can set up a scene of where they read such as reading at the beach with a snap of  the book with sunglasses, a sunscreen bottle and  a sun hat. 

If people are reading with their families but don't want the kids pictures to show publicly, they can take pictures from behind,  showing the backs of their heads.   Model co-reading by including the whole family.

Include an info bite.  The captions can say anything, again,  be creative.  Tell where you were reading, the title of the book, a quote from the book,  what you liked about the book or author.  Add recommendations or what you will read next.

Have fun with it and create a great display for back-to-school.  Or reading week.  Or any time!

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