"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, November 7, 2014

"I was surprised at how moving some of the stories are."

What an amazing week it has been!
In a few short days we are into the thick of Picture Book Month and we still have 23 more days to go.
What does it look like in a library that is celebrating Picture Book Month with a reading challenge?

Ransacked shelves.

Overflowing return bins.

Clever students bringing reusable bags for home


Careful consideration of reading choices.

Dwindling book shelves.

Resident experts on specific topics.

A wonder wall with big gaps.

How are we celebrating Picture Book Month?

Mason-Rice students are challenging themselves to read a specific number of picture books during the month of November.

Students in K will participate in a classroom reading challenge during the week of November 17th.

Students in 1st & 2nd are participating in a nonfiction picture book challenge and will record their results on these posters.
Students in 3rd, 4th & 5th  are participating in a challenge of their choice: choose your own reading adventure in reading picture book stories, nonfiction picture books, or picture book biographies. These students are recording their reading accomplishments on this reading log:

Where did we begin?
The first lesson for each classroom centered on these questions:

What are picture books?

Why are they important?

Why do we celebrate them?

There are many good answers to these questions, but here are a few that we've been talking about at Mason-Rice. 

Picture books...

~~ scaffold language development.

~~ expose students to complex sentence structure.

~~ build capacity for visual literacy (reading pictures, graphs, art, charts).

~~ bring readers of all ages together for shared reading experiences.

~~ promote learning through exposure to ideas and information.

I emphasize with students both the heart and mind value of picture books. 

How are we advertising the event?

Notices home to parents.

Burgeoning backpacks!

Signage around the library:

What do our circulation statistics look like?

Our circulation statistics are amazing! I decided to compare the last week with the week of October 17th.

Nonfiction Books


Picture Books


How are things progressing?

Today was the second visit for a few classes during picture book month and when I asked the students what they were finding and if a particular book or new piece of knowledge stood out, I received comments like these:

"I read a book that I hadn't read since kindergarten, Frederick. I loved it so much I had to go make a Frederick and write a story."

"I was surprised at how moving some of the stories are."

"I learned that lions encourage each other by rubbing faces when they don't manage to capture a prey."

"I learned that cheetahs are the only big cat that purrs."

"I learned that Hitler called his army storm troopers."

"I was surprised at how long it takes to read some picture books, they are longer than I thought."

I am excited about the conversations we are going to continue to have about picture books.


  1. What great ideas!! How many books are the kids allowed to check out at once?

    1. I am allowing the 3rd to 5th graders fifteen books in their challenge area and three of their choice. The 1st and 2nd graders can take five - up to three nonfiction picture books and two of their choice books. Many of them chose five nonfiction books. :) The kindergarten students are choosing one nonfiction and one fiction.