Margin Notes

Building A Community of Readers


Here’s an easy activity from Cultivating Readers by Anne Elliott and Mary Lynch (bonus-they are also Canadian educators!) that some teachers are trying out to start the year. Basically, you cut out footprints (copies are available in the book) and write down what you read over the summer. You chat with your students about your footprints (sharing your reading identity) then you ask them, “What did you learn about me as a reader?” They can turn and talk (talk helps to grow their thinking), share with the class what they learned about you, write their answers on a piece of chart paper and voila-there’s a snapshot of your reading identity.

We love this one because it lets students practice talking and thinking without being vulnerable about their own reading lives (until we get to know each other), and it gives them the language and vocabulary to eventually start talking about their own reading identity, which is essential to them becoming life-long readers.

If you try this out, please share your thoughts and experiences!

One Response to Building A Community of Readers

  1. Hi Kelly,
    I have been a long time reader of Margin Notes, so when I opened my email this morning and saw your new post title ‘Building a Community of Readers’ I was captivated and had to open it right away. Imagine my surprise and pure delight when I realized that the activity you are featuring and sharing came from Cultivating Readers, a book I co-wrote with my good friend and colleague Anne Elliott. I am thrilled you have checked out this activity and find it valuable and worthwhile. As teachers, we know our enthusiasm and love for reading is crucial for igniting a similar passion in our students. Thank you for sharing this idea with your readers. I hope you found the book a valuable read. #CultivatingReaders

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