Thursday, March 26, 2015

Booktalks with Fifth Graders: Book Suggestions, Tips and Tricks

This school year's adventures in booktalking have come to an end for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed these visits, and will definitely miss doing them in April. By the time my scheduled summer reading visits take place in May I will be more than ready to get back into the schools.

In case you've missed any of my previous booktalking posts, here are the links. Each post contains the books I recommended for each grade, as well as tips and tricks about doing booktalks for that grade.

Here are the books I promoted to our fifth graders:

Escape from Mr Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein: Kyle Keeley and his friends must solve the clues and find their way out of Mr. Lemoncello's state of the art library. I figured mystery loving kids might particularly enjoy it.

Frank Einstein and the Anti-Matter Motor by Jon Scieszka: Kids that love science would definitely love this one. As mentioned in previous posts, this has a great introduction for reading aloud.

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett: The humor appeal of this title can't be overstated. It tells the story of what happens when two "prank kings" meet up. I told the kids that if they liked pranks they would like this one.  

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate: This is one of my all time favorite animal stories. It is told from the perspective of Ivan the gorilla, who lives in captivity in a mall exhibit. When a new baby elephant is brought to the exhibit Ivan starts to see his life a little differently.

El Deafo by Cece Bell: El Deafo recently won the Newbery Honor, and for good reason. It is the story of the author's life after losing her hearing at a young age. It is just an all around terrific graphic novel, one that would appeal to so many types of children. I found the most interesting fact to kids is that Cece's phonic ear would allow her to hear her teacher using the bathroom.

Kate the Great (except when she's not) by Suzy Becker: As I did with the fourth graders, I included this one as a read alike for "Wimpy Kid" and "Dork Diaries".

Tips and Tricks:
  • One of my favorite things to do with older kids is promote those "secret" library services that many might not know about. For instance, some were shocked to hear they could place a hold on a book while it is still on order.
  • When discussing library resources get the "We've got books!" message out of the way as soon as possible. I did this by asking each class to tell me all at once the first thing they thought of when they thought of the library. Every class answered "books", and then I could move on to some of our other resources before discussing each individual title.
  • Find one funny or interesting element about each title to point out in your booktalks. This will probably be the thing most of the kids will remember when looking for that book. 

All in all this series of booktalks has been such a great experience. I'm looking forward to it being part of my yearly routine for a long time to come. If you have any other book suggestions or tips feel free to share them!

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