Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kindergarten Character Reading Clubs 

Kindergarten readers are in love with some new book best friends (Book BFFs according to the K team at PS 267).  I think this is the perfect time of year to invite K readers to meet new characters, perhaps a series of books featuring beloved characters, and gear up for high volume summer reading.  Kathy Collins's book, Reading for Real, will give you support if you want to know how to set up partnerships for this unit, prepare materials, and gather minilessons with colleagues.  I am posting just a few pics and tips here to help you get started in your classrooms.

First, create some inviting character club baskets that include books at your students independent reading levels.  Choose a few to use as whole class read alouds so you can model how to follow a character in one book and across books.

Many of you are teaching kids to infer how characters feel by reading the words and looking closely at the pictures.  You may have a chart like the one below that you have built with kids during a few minilessons.

This class built a chart to show how they got to know the character Mercy Watson from the lovely series by Kate DiCamillo.  They read a bunch of these books during read aloud and then the teacher referred to just parts or pages in her minilessons.  With each minilesson, she added to the chart with a clear example from the text and clear language.

And, it is also great to teach the kids to read across their books.  They can find the things their characters like to do, like to eat, like to play, and more.  Then, they can search for places where the characters do the same things in all of the books.  They can also compare one character to the other.  A kindergarten class at PS 6 made this chart together after they studied Mercy Watson, Piggy, and Fly Guy (3 different series).

Have fun meeting you new BFFs!  Encourage the kids to share their new "friends" with one another and make plans to meet more over the summer.

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