Classroom Book A Day

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone could start their work day by having a picture book read aloud to them?

Jillian Heise championed #Classroombookaday in schools.

#Classroombookaday promotes the goal of reading aloud a picture book every day of the school year to students of any age, inspired by Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday.  

Every morning we gather on the carpet where I read aloud a picture book. These books later become anchor texts for writing lessons.  After I read a book, I leave it on the ledge in front of the class.  At the end of the week, students vote on their favourite, then I take a photo of the books we read and post it on Teams. 

I focus on specific skills throughout the year: 

  • Identify author, illustrator, title 
  • Identify plot (beginning, middle, end) 
  • Identify setting (where & when) 
  • Identify character traits of main character – both internal and external 
  • Identify fiction/non-fiction & author’s purpose (entertain – fiction; inform – non-fiction) 
  • Identify theme (big idea) 
  • Explore vocabulary 
  • Analyze sentence structure & grammar (use of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) 
  • Analyze art and how it supports the story 

I make a point during every read aloud to admire the art and highlight the craftsmanship of the illustrator. I like to highlight how the artist effectively used an element of art, and how the choice of medium impacted the mood of the story.

If an author powerfully used an element of the Narrative Writing Diamond, I would highlight that  after reading aloud (Winning Beginning, Elaborative Detail – Setting, Main Character, Object, Suspense, Main Event, Conclusion) 

During the read aloud I also model reading comprehension skills (connect, question, visualize, infer, transform thinking) and ask students to apply said skills. 

I find that all the discussions we have during #Classroombookaday lays a strong foundation for literature circles. In addition, it prepares students for when I run a Mock Caldecott in January. Students confidently analyze and evaluate the selections.

Not only can kids enjoy picture books, but so can adults. I encourage you to peruse your local public library or bookstore. What gem could you find?


9 thoughts on “Classroom Book A Day

  1. OOooh, so many great ideas here for living a better life beginning with a picture book at the top of the day. So many greats – I truly love The Legend of the Teddy Bear and The Bear that Heard Crying – – and Stellaluna. I’m inspired to pick one today before heading out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many lessons can be taught through picture books, as you aptly described! Not to mention language acquisition, especially for English learners. This librarian loves everything about this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve often said that the best picture books are wasted on the young! (Not really, but truly, they have it all…the art, the themes, the gorgeous language.) I just attended a presentation about the power of wordless books in the classroom—for all ages—and realized the untapped potential there. Amazing! It’s wonderful to see how you bring them mindfully to the students and their response.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I ❤️ picture books and used them often in my high school classes. J. Heise curates excellent lists. She’s amazing. And you have offered a master class here on how to leverage picture books to promote literacy among students of all ages.

    Liked by 1 person

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