Read for the Record 2017 Image (JumpStart.org)
Many teachers already know how important shared reading is, especially at the primary level. Giving students the opportunity to engage with a text and learn reading strategies not only helps them improve their independent reading skills, but it also enables students to work collaboratively using the same shared experience. Talking about books with friends or even strangers is one of the best parts about being a reader. Now imagine the power of being able to talk about that same book to millions of people- and the possibility of breaking a world record in the process!
Read for the Record is an annual campaign to bring attention to early literacy and language skills though the massive shared reading of an engaging picture book. Jumpstart, the early childhood organization that puts on the event, is aiming to break their own world record that they set in 2013 with 2,462,860 people. On Thursday, October 19, 2017, students around the world will be participating by taking the time to do a shared reading of this year’s book: Quackers by Liz Wong. Quackers is an adorable story about a kitten who thinks he is a duck. One day, he meets a cat who explains that he is a cat and shows him what it means to be a cat. Quackers likes being a cat, but misses being a duck. He realizes that he doesn’t have to be one or the other; he is happiest just being himself.
While Jumpstart does provide activity sheets, a reading guide, and more to support teachers who would like to participate, we at Custom Education Solutions thought it would be great to extend the themes of individuality and acceptance through text sets, book clubs, or independent reading at all grade levels. In our curriculum bins, we have a number of great titles at a variety of reading levels that celebrate diversity, foster self-acceptance, and encourage acceptance. With Quackers in mind, I combed through our bins such as Personal Identity, Community of Learners, LGBT, and Social Issues to find picture books and novels that can continue and build upon the themes found in this book.
Make an appointment to check out these great books to pair with Quackers:
A Tiger Tail (Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School) by Mike Boldt
Anya wakes up one morning and discovers she has grown a tiger tale overnight- just before the first day of school.
She is scared about what the other students will say and tries to get out of going to school.
Once she gets there, she sees that everyone in her class is unique in their own way and accepts her new tail.
Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone
In this picture book about the first woman doctor in America,
Stone explores how Elizabeth Blackwell grew up in a time with limited opportunities for women,
and her determination to become a doctor even though people told her women weren’t smart enough.
Elizabeth achieves her goals and shows that women can become anything that they want.
Anything But Typical by Nora Baskin (Lexile: 640, F&P: S)
Jason is an autistic 12 year old who likes to write and makes a friend through an online writing forum.
When he has an opportunity to meet his online friend in person at a writing conference, he worries what her reaction will be.
Through a happy coincidence with a writing instructor, he understands that he has a unique voice and is more comfortable with who he is.
Boys Don’t Knit (In Public) by T.S. Easton
Seventeen year old Ben knows his friends make stupid choices, he goes along with them anyway.
After following along with his friends gets Ben in trouble with the law, he must take on a new activity and community service.
He reluctantly chooses knitting, and discovers that he is actually really good at it.
Though he is at first embarrassed of his new hobby and tries to hide it from his friends,
in the end he realizes that he doesn’t have to conform to gender stereotypes and pursues his passion proudly.
To register your class: https://www.jstart.org/read-for-the-record/signup/
Free ebook (also available in Spanish): https://issuu.com/readfortherecord/docs/full_english_book2