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Monday Morning Ready10.04.2019
Jumpstart Your Week!

In the early 20th century, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, embarked on a nationwide tour to advocate for better standards in children's literature. At the time, relatively few kids' books were published each year-in part because printing color illustrations was expensive...... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

What is the first book you remember hearing or reading when you were a young child? Which book was your favorite? Why?

Grade 5-6

Which children's books written today do you think are most worthy of being included in the Library of Congress's digitized collection? Why?

Grade 7-8

According to the article, The Rocket Book, published in 1912, was a tactile as well as literary experience. The book had an intentional hole on every page to reflect the rocket's movement through the building. Think about the books you read when you were younger. What kinds of tactile experiences did they feature? How did these elements make the book more enjoyable for you to read?

Grade 9-10

In the article, the Library of Congress's Lee Ann Potter noted that children's books of the past reflect attitudes, perspectives and beliefs of different times. What kinds of lessons do you think parents can or should teach their kids as they review these books together?

LESSON PLAN
Create a Book Club

PROCESS:

  1. Ask students what type of book they like to read most, fiction or nonfiction. Then invite students to identify their favorite genres, such as mysteries, biographies, romance, or even guides explaining how to fix things.
  2. Discuss reasons why it can be fun or even helpful to discuss what you've read with a friend. For example, you can share the experience and laugh. Or, your friend might be able to help you understand something you missed.
  3. Explain that these are reasons why people form book clubs. But point out that in order for a book club to be successful, it must be organized. Everyone has to read the same book, somebody has to be in charge, and everyone must participate. It helps if members have written discussion questions beforehand to keep the conversation flowing.
  4. In small groups, have students start their own book clubs. Instruct them to decide how they will format and run their groups. Then have them identify the first book they will read and come up with a list of discussion questions for their first meeting. Encourage groups to meet regularly over the next few weeks as they make their way through their first books.

ASSESSMENT:

After all groups have finished their first books, rejoin as a class. Encourage students to explain how meeting in informal groups impacted their enjoyment or understanding of the book they read.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, create a basic set of rules for the book clubs to follow. Then divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a book to read based on members' interests and reading abilities. Observe group discussions and offer helpful tips as needed.
Grades 5-6:
As a class, create a basic set of rules for the book clubs to follow. Then divide the class into small groups. Encourage each group to select one book that all members want to and can read. Observe group discussions and offer helpful tips as needed.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into small groups. Challenge members of each group to decide how they will format and run their book clubs. Then have them select a group leader and a book to read. Instruct groups to write a list of discussion questions for their first meeting. Make sure each group member has a copy. Instruct them to take notes as they read when they find the answers. Encourage students to use their notes during their first group discussion.
Grades 9-10:
Have the class divide into small groups based on the type of book students prefer reading. Then have each group decide how to format and run its book club. After groups select their first book to read, challenge them to write a list of discussion questions for their first meeting. Make sure each group member has a copy. As they read their selections, instruct students to jot down page numbers for each answer or to identify passages that they found particularly appealing so they can easily find information they want to share with the group later on.
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Judging a Book by Its Cover
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, elementary school students will explore the relationship between the form of books and the content inside. Using a piece of creative writing as inspiration, students will design and produce a book that reflects a theme in writing.

How to Read Like Mark Twain
Step one: Pretend you don’t like books. Step two? What would that be? Read this Smithsonian magazine article to find out.

Artists’ Books and Africa
Artists’ books and African Artists’ books are not normally associated with African art, so the goal of this Smithsonian Libraries exhibition is to introduce the genre and survey its “African manifestations. Invite students to explore a wide variety of forms and structures in these books that were created by both African and international artists.

The Books of Thomas Jefferson’s Library
Watch this video, presented by Smithsonian magazine, to learn how Thomas Jefferson’s respect for the Enlightenment ideals of Memory, Reason and Imagination shaped how he organized his library.

Handi-hour Crafting—Miniature Books
Watch this video from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery to learn how to create your own miniature book!

History on Stage Pop-Up Lesson
In this lesson plan from the Smithsonian’s History Explorer, students are introduced to the variety of mechanisms included in movable books. Then they are encouraged to build their own pop-up in support of a social studies lesson.

There’s No Such Thing as Reading Silently to Yourself
Sitting in a corner reading silently—as you might be doing right now, for example—turns out to be impossible. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to find out why.
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