Each year we celebrate Read Across America Week with guest readers. Usually I have fun as a guest reader by choosing some of my favorite picture books. I would take the books into classrooms, read my books, and then take the books with me. Yeah it was fun, but did the kids have an opportunity to read these books after I left? Not really unless they went to the library and found them. I wanted to approach my guest reader opportunity differently this year.
I remembered something I'd recently heard from Donalyn Miller. She suggested giving a book buzz to the students and then keeping a list of students who want to read the book. Then students can take turns reading the book, passing it to the next person on the list after they finished.
I looked through my bins of books and found three books to share with the kids. The books would appeal to both boys and girls, and most were the first books of a series we have in the school library. (I also gave the librarian a heads up with the titles I was buzzing so she could support us.)
Guest reader day came, and I got ready. I cut up a bunch of square pieces of paper and wrote each of the book titles on a plastic baggie. (You can see this on the picture.) I read a couple chapters in each of the books. Next came the part that made the books even more special. I gave each student 2 of the square "tickets". The kids wrote their names on the tickets and then used the tickets to enter the lottery to be the first person to read each book. It was interesting to watch the kids. There were three books to choose from, but they only had two tickets. Decisions. Decisions. Some kids put both tickets in the bag of the book they REALLY wanted to read. A couple kids only used one tickets, and some divided among two choices. The big drawing occurred, and the lucky winners were thrilled. I told the kids not to worry if they weren't chosen. The classroom teacher would keep the bag and draw another name when the book was available again.
I checked back with the classroom on the following Thursday to see how the kids were doing with the books. One book was on its fourth reader. Another book was on its third reader. The Book Buzz Lottery was a success. Kids were introduced to some new books, and it sparked interest in many students. I'll be using it again next year for sure.