Read Across America Week is coming up! Beginning in 2019, the NEA decided to end its licensing agreement with Seuss Enterprises and focus on diversity. Read Across America Week is a wonderful time to run with this theme and introduce your learners to a wide range of diverse authors and books. I love Read Across America Week because it presents the opportunity to incorporate a ton of cross-curricular activities that cultivate a love of reading. Here are five ideas for Read Across America Week to use in your classroom.
1. Read Across America Suggested Book List
This may be extremely obvious, but reading books from the Read Across America suggested book list is the easiest way to explore diverse books with your class. Check out the calendar of their twelve recommended books this year. One of my favorites from the list is Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman.
2. Drop Everything & Read
It may sound simple, but one of my favorite Read Across America activities is D.E.A.R., or Drop Everything And Read. Allow students to bring in a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. At a random time each day, tell students to drop what they are doing and curl up with a book! This will surely add some excitement to your day and encourage students to become enthusiastic about reading!
3. Virtual Field Trips
Take a Virtual Field Trip to explore authors and stories around the world. In this digital resource, students will read, use media, write, and complete other interactive activities as they explore global authors and stories.
4. Learn What a Career as an Author Looks Like
What is an author’s role? How do they come up with ideas for a story? What does the process of writing a book look like? This Virtual Career Day may just inspire your students to write more.
5. Author Study
Begin an author study on a favorite children’s author. Students can research, read, and learn about the life and inspiration behind their favorite author. Check out these two virtual author studies:
Roald Dahl: Learn how a candy-store prank turned into a tale in one of his famous books.
Dav Pilkey: How did Dav’s childhood struggles help him become one of the silliest children’s authors?
These five activities are sure to promote a love of all things reading during Read Across America Week. Be sure to let me know how it goes!