Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Novelty of Reading

There's something about the novelty of chance that's always appealing, so why not let it work for you?

Remember that Christmas ornament swap game?  It can get downright cutthroat, always a fun scenario around the holidays.

Here's how it goes:

Everyone brings a wrapped ornament and tosses it in a community pile.
Everyone draws a slip of paper with a number.
The person with the number "1" unwraps a gift, shows it off and sits down.
Person 2 may "steal" the ornament that's already unwrapped or pick from the pile.
Person 3 may nab either ornament or pick from the pile.
Any time someone's ornament is taken, the person returns to the pile for a new one.
And so on, and so on, and Scooby dooby doo-bee.

Here's how you can make this work for you:
Get a whole bunch of short high interest books of a similar size.  These could be read in 15ish minutes.
Stuff them in a bag/ box.
Let kids draw numbered slips of paper.
Same idea with the ornaments...but unless you want to wrap all of those books, just let the kids pick from the bag without looking.
The kids show off their book.
Subsequent players may steal or pick something from the bag.

EVERYBODY READS.   Will they complain?   Yeah.  But not for too long.  You've heard worse.

If your school uses the Accelerated Reader program, kids then take an open book test.   Then they want to read another book.

Children can switch titles with a friend or pick something new from the bag, once they are done with their first book.

The key is using high interest books with a visual element. Bigfoot, monster trucks, NASCAR, Disgusting Bugs, Area 51, Bermuda Triangle, ESP, sharks, urban legends, movie monsters, bats, hunting, extreme get the picture.

These books are usually expensive, but they are worth the investment.  A wide sampling of kids love them, and they are an easy way to build cultural literacy and general background knowledge.

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