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Create a Book Award

Students will write a list of criteria for a literary award and design a medal for the winner. They will identify books that they think should win the new award.

PROCESS:

  1. Prior to conducting this activity, collect several examples of award-winning children's books. Be sure to have at least one winner of the Caldecott Medal and one winner of the Newbery Medal.
  2. Invite students to think about an awards show they've seen. Point out that all of these ceremonies—whether they deal with television, movies, music or something else—have one important thing in common. Awards are presented for many different types of work. 
  3. Explain that books are no different. This article, for example, mentions different awards presented for children's literature. Each award is unique. And to be eligible for any of these awards, books must meet a specific set of criteria. 
  4. Display examples of award-winning books. Encourage students to examine the seal on each book's cover.
  5. Tell students to imagine that they are in charge of creating a new award for books. Instruct them to compile a list of criteria for the award. Then have them design a seal that would go on the book's cover. Challenge students to identify a book they've read that could be a potential winner of this award.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their criteria and award design with the class. Instruct them to explain why the book they chose could win the new award. Encourage classmates to identify other books that also meet the criteria. 

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:  

Grades 3-4:
Have students complete the project in small groups. Instruct them to list at least five different requirements in their list of criteria for the award. Encourage students to draw both a front and back view of their awards.

Grades 5-6:
Have students complete the project with a partner. Instruct them to list at least seven different requirements in their list of criteria for the award. Challenge them to draw both front and back views of their medals for the top prize and honorable mention.

Grades 7-8:
Have students complete the project with a partner. Instruct them to list at least seven different requirements in their list of criteria for the award. Challenge them to draw both front and back views of their medals for the top prize and honorable mention. Encourage students to brainstorm ideas for books competing for their award. Then have them write a short biography of the award winner and three books that received honorable mention.

Grades 9-10:
Have students complete the project with a partner. Instruct them to list at least 10 different requirements in their list of criteria for the award. Challenge them to draw both front and back views of their medals for the top prize and honorable mention. Encourage students to brainstorm ideas for books competing for their award. Have them write a short biography of the award winner and three books that received honorable mention. Tell students to incorporate this information into a press release announcing the winners.