During Book Week, we had a lot of fun celebrating books and reading. Mystery Readers visited classrooms to read to students. The entire school took time to read every day. Students participated in “Bug on a Book,” and each class set a goal for how many books they could read in the week. The theme was “Buzz into a Good Book!” so we used insect ideas to accompany the reading, read books about insects, and used insect and book décor in the school. The week’s elementary art classes incorporated the theme and displayed their insect projects throughout the school.
Of course, it is always fun to hear the administrator announce, in the middle of math, “Hello, Ephrata Mennonite School! It is time to read!” and we immediately stop math, grab our books, and read. It was exciting to see the first-graders enjoying reading. I looked over the classroom during the school-wide reading time – here is someone singing a book (illustrated book of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”), there is someone under my desk absorbed in a book, these children are reading from a previous reader, and this child brought a book from home. Lisa asked, “Can I read under this table?” “Sure,” I replied, so Lisa lay on the floor under the table to read.
Our class goal was 100 books – can we read 100 books this week? For each book read, the children put a bee on a large bee hive. (Each elementary class had a bee hive and their goal for the number of books to read.) We made the bees with a thumbprint and wings drawn with pen. We can read 100 books in a week! My class exceeded their goal, passing it on the second day of Book Week. J They tried to count the bees, but the hive was too full by Thursday. Each class who met their goal received a reward on Friday when they made grape caterpillars and butterfly cupcakes that went along with the insect theme.
We enjoyed having the Mystery Readers come in, and I liked being a Mystery Reader for other classes. The students did not know when the reader was coming, and could stop in the middle of whatever they were doing and enjoy a book or two read by the Mystery person. My smile from this activity came when one of the Mystery Readers read a book about the Hans Herr House, with the story taking place in the 1700’s. The reader pointed out the photo in which one of our administrative team members was pictured. Later one of the first-graders asked, “Was Mr. S really there 300 years ago?”
Bug on a Book was a fun event, as well. Each day, a bug on a book was displayed somewhere in the building, in one of the common areas. This was a large plastic beetle that sat on different books. The first day the bug was on a book and on a plant by the front door. Another day the bug and book were on a windowsill, one day on a table behind a lamp in the lobby, and another day on the floor beside the library book return. On the final day, the bug and small book were in Mr. C’s shirt pocket while he greeted the students as they arrived at school. Any student who found the Bug on a Book could fill out a form and put it in his class’ collection box. The students were not to announce or share where they had seen the bug. At the end of the day, we gathered all the forms and drew one paper slip. That person received a prize of gummy butterflies. It was interesting to see who had noticed the bug!
CONTRIBUTOR: Arlene Birt