National Reading Month takes place each March, as it was designated for the birth month of the great children’s author Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss. National Reading Month is a time when schools, libraries, and organizations across the country encourage children of all ages to read, and it’s easy and fun to join in!
Students can celebrate reading month with all kinds of fun activities. A great one to encourage kids to read more broadly is Reading Bingo, where students get blank Bingo cards with each square designated for a different genre or type of book. As they finish books, they can fill in the title on the square for that book’s genre and try to get a Bingo! This can help kids try new books they might not have before or explore new genres they might not have considered previously.
Students can also make a competitive game out of reading for each day of the March National Reading Month. Classes can have prizes for those who read the most pages in the month, who read for the most consecutive days, or who read the most books over the month.
To encourage students to engage deeply with the books they read, teachers can also encourage creative interpretation of a child’s favorite book. Students might draw or paint a scene from their favorite book, make their own filmed dramatic reenactment of the book, or write their own story with the same characters as an extension of the story.
Younger students who aren’t reading independently yet can still participate in National Reading Month this March. Younger classrooms can encourage excitement about reading by having classroom read-alouds, singing the alphabet song together, playing word games, or simply discussing their favorite stories together.
Another part of National Reading Month is National Read Across America Day, which takes place on March 2nd. Celebrating Read Across America is a great way to kick off the National Reading Month celebration, as it is right at the beginning of March and is full of festivity. To celebrate National Read Across America Day in your school or classroom, consider bringing in some fun guests to read to classes or creating an all-school event. Each year the National Education Association designates a special theme with specific books that schools and classes can use in their celebrations, such as 2021’s “Cultivate Compassion” theme featuring “Tiara’s Hat Parade” by Kelly Starling Lyons for elementary students, “Each Tiny Spark” by Pablo Cartaya for middle-grade students, and “They Called Us Enemy” by Eisinger Scott Becker for young adult readers.
Because of the month’s focus on reducing illiteracy and expanding educational resources across the country, organizing a fundraising effort at your school can also be a great way to make a difference while imparting the importance of reading to your students. Consider a read-a-thon where students can raise money by reading books, or simply running a coin drive to gather funds.
While reading is a critical educational skill, National Reading Month and National Read Across America Day cultivates an important and often overlooked element of reading education; developing a child’s love of reading. After all, having the ability to read doesn’t guarantee that a child will continue to be an avid and skilled reader into adulthood; the best way to ensure that is to help them fall in love with reading! Making such reading events into fun celebrations can help children see reading as a source of imaginative play and excitement, fostering their love for literature.
How are you celebrating National Reading Month this March with your family or classroom? Leave a comment sharing your plans for the upcoming celebrations!
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