You know your visit was successful when you hear them whispering things like “She’s so nice!” and “Will your mom take us tonight?” in the hall on their way back to class.
In general, I feel like I’ve been lucky with summer reading school visits. The kids are always enthusiastic and lots of them come in and say hi during the summer.
Despite this, I definitely have a strong preference for 4th and 5th graders. There’s nothing better than a room with 50 4th and 5th graders all raising their hands at once to suggest different things that might count towards their reading goal. Or the 10 that crowd around me as I’m packing up to tell me jokes and tell me they want to be a librarian, too.
OR when you tell them you’re about to read something scary so they might want to close their eyes, and they do. Magic.
Here’s what’s in my box of tricks for every visit for these older kids:
-Summer Reading game board, bookmarks, stickers, and any other paper I need to show them.
-cool non-fiction: What’s Up Cupcake? by Dana Meachen Rau, A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke, a Haunted Caves book, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and a book of optical illusions done by National Geographic
-playaways and playaway views
-a magazine (I grabbed National Geographic for Kids today and they dug the polar bear on the cover (see what I did there?))
-picture book (to remind them they can read to their little siblings and that books with pictures still count no matter how old you are)
-popular chapter books or ones I can book talk easily: Spaceheadz, Origami Yoda, Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Half-Minute Horrors-I ALWAYS read some of these and they always love it
-graphic novels: Bone, Babymouse (they ALL remember reading those!)
-comics: Garfield is a sure thing
-joke books: these are the golden ticket to their hearts. The worse the jokes, the better. Their favorite joke from today: “What do you call a fly without wings?” A walk. HAR HAR HAR
After my spiel I always “quiz” them to make sure they were listening. The best question to ask is your name. They will ALL remember you after that question. I usually give them stickers and/or bookmarks for getting the answer right and they get really in to that.
What do you do for your summer reading visits?