During a four-hour drive yesterday, I suddenly had the idea to introduce reader’s workshop this year by talking about all the awesome places I traveled – through books! Then I thought it would be fun to post a map in the classroom, with a “books help you travel” type quote, and then keep track of all the places my students and I “visit” throughout the year. I think I would have dots/stickers of some kind (color-coded by genre?) and have students label them with title and reader’s name. I’ll post more about the map once I finalize my plan for it!
What I’m posting about today is my second theme idea: creating “passports” for individuals to track their reading. Now that I have these things in place, I want to develop a whole travel-themed approach to reader’s workshop for the year! I don’t feel like I did an effective job of helping students get immersed in literature last year, and I’m hoping this approach will help emphasize that particular benefit of reading.
I used a type of foldable one of my teachers taught me years ago and created a template for a passport that allows for 4 mini-reviews and a list of 10 additional books:
See below for more, including a downloadable template and a video tutorial!
The first page has the “ID” info. I plan to have students draw an “ID photo” in the box, which could be a self-portrait, image that represents them, or cover/illustration for their favorite book:
Then, I have a “stamp page” followed by 4 pages to write reviews of books. I’m hoping to find some fun little stamps that would relate to the genres (spaceship for sci-fi, magnifying class for mystery, etc) but it could also just be a “good job” stamp for all categories. If I find genre stamps, that’s what I’ll use for the boxes on the review page, otherwise I might have students draw a small icon to represent their book and its genre. Students will circle the number of stars to rate their book, then write a quick summary/review to fill the rest of the page. I might occasionally give them specific prompts to respond about their books, depending on what we’re focusing on during class.
Now for the fun part! The foldable is pretty simple and requires one cut. I have no idea where this idea originated – I learned it I think as a 6th or 7th grader and remembered how to do it because I thought it was cool and used to make little books like this for fun (nerd!). The template (click here to download) is created by me, so if you use it or post about it elsewhere please credit me with a link back to this post.
With the stamp things, I’m thinking of having some kind of awards/prizes for completing the passport during the course of the semester. I want to reward exploring different genres, but I also want to motivate them to figure out how to choose books that they’re excited about, which may require sticking mainly to one genre. Possibilities:
- Globetrotter/Genretrotter – complete books and receive stamps for all 6 genres
- Extended Stay (definitely need a catchier name) – complete 3+ books in the same genre
- World Traveler – complete the whole passport
Any ideas for better names, or fun prizes, would be greatly appreciated!! And let me know if you end up borrowing this idea for your own class – I’d love to see how it goes!