Need Creative Ideas….for 1st Grade Book Talk

I’m a little stumped stressed thrilled. I was just helping my first grader’s classroom celebrate 100 days of school. During my visit, middle child’s teacher asked if I’d like to come into the classroom in the near future and talk to the kids about books.

“Of course,” I said. Already, I was mentally preparing what kind of books would be great to share with the children. Then Ms. Teacher dropped the bomb on me.

“Middle child is unhappy because most of the children throw the books around,” she said and gave me her best 1,000 watt smile. 

“I thought it’d be a great idea if you could talk to the kids about the right way to treat books.”  What?  

“Uh. Sure,” I said, filing away Ms. Teacher’s bait and switch hook trickery for future use. We agreed this Friday worked for both of us.

So, I ask you my creative friends, what in the world would get 21 six and seven-year-old children, half who probably eat jumping beans for breakfast, to listen to a talk on taking care of books? I have a half hour– 30 minutes — 1,800 seconds — to either sink or swim. What would entice them to care about books, if they don’t already?

I was going to go all dramatic and have the kids throw some old books on the floor and then stomp on them to get their aggressions out. But the idea of it makes me ill. Then I was going to have them create their own books to see if the kids could take care of them until I see them again the next week. But, I’m not sure these are the right things to do with this class.

I can’t imagine there are any books out there on this subject for first graders, but if any of you know any, please let me know. And if you have any creative ideas to wow this crowd, throw me a lifeline. Please!!!  I am afraid.

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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