Friday, February 17, 2017

National Read America Day

By Shirley Hailstock

It's February, I know that. National Read Across America Day is March 2nd and I'm putting this here because you might want to do it and you'll need time to prepare.

Every year I go back to school to read to the kids on National Read Across America Day. All kids have short attention spans, so you need to keep them engaged while you read the story. One year I was going to read The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. The night before I was to read, I walked into my clothes to decide what to wear (school starts early) and I saw all the hat boxes I've been keeping for when they come back in style.





I pulled them down and opened them. There were all styles of hats from the Pill Box hat to a Sailor's Cap. Props, I thought. The idea to give each kid a hat to wear came to me. Kids love things to do, especially "touch me" things.



At school the next day, as I read the story and something would mention a hat, I'd quickly point to a student and indicate how their hat was in the book. Once it was a flower. The football helmet was protective. The bridal hat (with veil) was a hit with a smiling little girl with freckles.



I learned that I not only read the story, but the kids loved being part of the story by wearing the props. So if you're inclined to read to your own child or to an entire class, take props and draw them into story. They'll remember it and may be instilled with the joy of reading.


Remember national Read America Day - March 2, 2017. Read to someone.

18 comments:

  1. What a great idea! It makes me wish I had the hats my grandmother and aunts wore. I love reading Dr. Seuss.

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    1. I love Dr. Seuss too. When I gave away the children's books, I kept all my Dr. Seuss books.

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  2. As a former teacher, I loved this very original idea, Shirley! I don't think we have a Canada Read day though we do have a Canada Reads book contest. We used to have something in school called DEAR or Drop Everything And Read where everyone in the whole school, including caretakers and admin, read for 15 minutes at the same time. Thanks for this charming post and especially, for promoting reading.

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    1. Wow, I love that idea. At our next PTO meeting (Parent-Teacher Organization), I'm going to suggest DEAR. Love the acronym.

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  3. Love the idea and also want to know how many hats you have LOL. Me, no hats, but I could take the hundred baseball hats shared between my husband and son.
    I have enough shoes for a kindergarten class.
    Great post, Shirley.

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    1. I have about 30 hats (not including baseball caps). I only needed 12 for one of my Special Ed classes.

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  4. That's such a neat idea! I don't own any hats. I look funny in them! My husband and son love hats. Every time my husband buys a new one, our 8-year-old tries to take it over. LOL!

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    1. My hair was always short and strangely enough, I look best is the hats with big brims. The big floppy hats we used to wear to the beach always looked great on me. Easter Sunday, I always got a new hat.

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  5. Shirley, what a neat day that I'd never heard of, and love your idea of needing to keep kids' attentions. You are clever. We want to know what else you have in your storehouse of fun things. How many hats did you take to class that day?

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    1. I took about 20 hats. 12 for the kids, 2 for the teachers, and several for me. I kept changing as I read. Sometimes I let the kids put the hats on me. What a bad hair day it was when they finished. Loved it.

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  6. How fun! I'll bet they love you.

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    1. They also loved the little hats full of candy, I passed out at the end (teacher approved before I did it).

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  7. What a fun idea. I know they loved for you to come. I haven't had a hat since I was a kid and got one for Easter. But I'm going on a cruise, so I'm looking for a big, floppy one.

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  8. I grew up at a time when we had to wear hats to church. I had a great collection - late Fifties, early Sixties. I swear they make you feel differently. I can just imagine how much fun that was for the children. Did anyone get pictures? Good for you to be so clever about keeping them engaged. And what a wonderful idea overall.

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  9. As a former teacher, I LOVED when authors came to visit and read to the class. What a blessing you are to do that. Have fun.

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  10. Shirley, I love this idea, though I'm not a hat person. However, I have found that my four grand nieces from age 1-10 adore hats. It's such a part of make believe. And crowns, bows, headbands, tiaras...bring them on!

    What a great teacher you are. Wish I'd had you as my teacher in school Those kids are blessed!

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  11. This is a brilliant idea, Shirley! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. At my local library volunteers can read to kids. This is a great idea.

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