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Kicking things off with your class

posted Oct 30, 2016, 2:23 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Oct 30, 2016, 2:30 PM ]
Now that we're two months into the school year and students are settled into routines, it's time to start getting kids excited about the Idaho Kids Vote Book Award.

I used an inquiry unit (available on the Helpful Documents page) with my 5th graders to get them thinking about choosing excellent books. The essential question for the unit is "How do we recognize great books?" The double meaning of recognize is intentional, because we started by exploring how book awards are determined and the criteria that different book awards use. From there, we tried to determine the difference between good and great books. Students looked at articles, engaged in personal reflection, and finally conducted a Socratic Seminar on the topic. Finally, students posted a short reflection on the topic to our Bryan Book Blog.

Inquiry Lesson Text Set

By the time we were done with our inquiry unit, students couldn't wait to get their hands on the nominated books and begin making up their own minds about which one deserves the first Idaho Kids Vote Book Award. Even though I don't have all of the books in my classroom library yet, kids are talking about the books and getting excited about which ones they will read first. I can't wait to see where they take this.