To get things started, I asked the students to pick their favorite book from independent reading this year. It could be any genre, and read at any time over the school year. I was surprised by some of their choices, but when I saw all the books altogether, it just made me happy.
And here they are - my grade 4/5 students' favorite independent reads from the year:
Once we had our faves collected, I told the students they would be writing a Book Love Note - a little sticky note explaining why they love the book they picked. We started our notes "To the next person that reads this book ..." and then they filled in the rest. They stuck the notes in the fronts of the books, and then we took a moment to let each student read their note to the class. I LOVE the idea that my class next year will find all these little love note treasures when they're searching through my classroom library next year.
In fact ... I LOVED their little notes so much, I just made a little "Book Love Note Nook" to keep on top of my bookshelves next year so I can keep the love going. I even found some fun little heart-shaped sticky notes to use for it. We won't limit our love notes to one day next year; students can write a book love note whenever they feel they need to "share the love". I made this little "Book Love Notes" graphic and uploaded it took google drive in case you'd like to grab a copy for your own class. You can download it HERE.
After writing and talking about how much we love books, well ... we had to READ! I told students they could bring in blankets and pillows for the day, if they wished, and I let them make up comfy little nests to read in ... which soon turned into comfy little forts. Some brought in flashlights, too. So, all curled up, we started to read. We read for 1/2 an hour ... and did this 3 times throughout the day (once during each of our 100 minute blocks of our day). It was awesome!
Next up in our big book buffet, was a fun book raffle. I had a big box of books discarded from the library, and students brought in some of their old books to trade, too. We put all the books in the middle of the room, and then I started to draw names. When their name was drawn, they could pick a book. After each round, I gave them 15 seconds to make a trade with something left in the middle. We were able to go through about 3-4 rounds of books, and everyone went home with some "new to them" books.
To finish up our book loving buffet, we did a drama circle I've been working on ... with a theme none other than READING, of course. I LOVE watching my students perform drama circles - it always brings us closer together. You can take a peek at my newest drama circle by clicking HERE or on the picture to the right. What an awesome day of celebrating our love of reading. And I know my students enjoyed it just as much as I did!