Margin Notes

Crafting Reader Profiles K-5

Oct
06

“When someone tells us they are not a reader, it is not enough to simply hand them what we deem to be a great book.  The first step is to ask why and then get to know that child. “  Pernille Ripp

As we begin another school year our first few weeks of school are inundated with activities. In primary school, interest inventories circle around asking children what their favorite colors are, favorite animals, and what they like to do for fun.  But what if you had an inventory that would gather so much information about a child that you could have weeks’ worth of planning beyond knowing their favorite color?

The “I Am A Reader Who” list poem, from Anne Elliott and Mary Lynch’s Cultivating Readers book (Grades 3-8), encourages teachers to dig deeper into getting to know their students in order to support them in recognizing how they have developed as readers over time and exploring their reading habits and preferences.

Before students create their own,” I Am a Reader” list poem, the authors suggest posting promts around the room on chart paper to encourage classroom discussion and support students in thinking about themselves as readers.

Questions as suggested by the authors include:

  • Where do you like to read?
  • When do you like to read?
  • How do you choose books?
  • Who do you like to read (authors)?
  • What do you like to read (topics/genres)?

It is important to model your own thinking aloud before having students independently travel between the charts individually or in small groups to add their own ideas. I also love the authors’ suggestestion of having follow-up conversations that highlights any trends, connections, and a-ha moments before having students create their own I am a Reader Poem.

Check out, an “I Am a Reader” poem already completed by a student this year:

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