One Book One School: Generating Reading Excitement

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 14, 2017  in: #tlap, Engagement, reading

Every teacher in every school is looking for ways to generate reading excitement.  How do we get kids more excited to read?  How do we motivate them?  How do we make reading fun for everyone?  This year was our first One Book One School.  It was a huge success.

We started with the idea that we wanted to encourage our students to read and to involve the families in a reading activity.  A small committee met and planned the activities for our project.  We selected the book:  The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, (available in Spanish and English).  With the generosity of sponsors, we provided each family with a copy of the book.


To build the excitement, we revealed the book title a little at a time when each class pulled a section of the cover from a bulletin board.  The whole school was buzzing that week, wondering what the title would be.

We began with a family reading night on a Thursday evening.  Families spread their blankets out on our gym floor to listen to celebrity readers read a few chapters.  When the gym was nearly packed for this event, we knew this was going to be successful.

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Our committee set up a schedule that included teachers reading some chapters in class while parents and kids read more chapters at home.  Trivia questions were posted every Tuesday and Thursday and a little stuffed Ralph the Mouse made the rounds through all the classrooms.  Teachers snapped pictures of our little stuffed Ralph  and posted them outside their doors.  Letters with suggested family activities went home each Thursday to extend the thinking and the fun.

The culminating activity was a family movie night sponsored by our parent group.  Once again, families spread their blankets out in the gym, but this time to watch the movie of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.  The parent group reported that this was their biggest crowd ever for a movie night.


We’re now surveying our staff and families for feedback.  As we look forward to next year and start to think about our next One Book One School project, we’ll use that information to plan.  Based on what we learned this year, we can’t wait!

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