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Celebrate Read Across America Week with These Five Essential Steps

Explore ideas for embracing Read Across America Week, March 2-6, 2024.

Read Across America is an annual event created by the National Education Association to promote reading that explores “books that students can see themselves reflected in, as well as books that allow readers to see a world or a character that might be different than them” ( nea.org).

We hope that all educators will join in and encourage reading in the classroom during Read Across America Week. So here are five essential steps to get started!

Step One: Inspire reading. Take time leading up to Read Across America Week to read aloud to your students from different perspectives and cultures. A great resource to start with is Storyline Online. This site presents several popular children’s books read by celebrities.

Step Two: Genre review. Remind students of the different types of genres that are available to them. For younger readers, you may need to go over the differences between fiction and non-fiction. Check out these resources to help you out!

It’s Lit – These engaging shorts geared toward secondary students help present many different literature genres. Painting!– An interactive lesson using the topic of painting to teach elementary students the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Visiting A Library – A PBS Kids Resource Kit that helps teachers explain how a library functions.

Step Three: Celebrate library check-out day! Make it a BIG celebration. Tell students to dress up. Take pictures. Motivate them to find a good book or two, so that they can join in Read Across America Week.

Step Four: Incorporate reading time throughout the week. Have students participate in sustained, silent reading. This can be as little as ten minutes or more. Find comfortable places for them to read; make it special. Create a peaceful environment by playing YouTube videos designed for study or concentration. Some of my favorites: Rainy Night Forest at Cozy Coffee Shop or Stunning Underwater Wonders

Step Five: Embrace diversity. Have students discuss the cultural and diverse perspectives they encountered in their reading. Present stories and authors that celebrate the vibrant tapestry of our nation. Here are some author studies from eMediaVA showcasing diverse voices!

Grace Lin Jerry Spinelli Shel Silverstein Alma Flor Ada Toni Morrison

For more information, visit Read Across America’s website.

This article first appeared on the eMediaVA Blog. Kristen Strickland is an ITRT in Chesapeake City Public Schools and an eMediaVA Ambassador. Check out the blog for more educational advice and resources.