This week all of our library classes started recording the Bluestem or Monarch Award books that they have read so far. The students are so excited to read all the books on their list and prepare to vote for their favorite in March. The books are chosen by librarians all around the state of Illinois and lists are distributed to schools to be read and voted on. Links to the 2017 titles can be found here:
Grades K-2 will be reading to help choose the winner of the 2017 Monarch Award. The name Monarch was chosen because of the butterfly and its familiarity to K-2 children. It symbolized the growth, change and freedom that becoming a reader brings. The Monarch Award is designed to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children’s books, authors and illustrators.
Grades 3-5 will be reading to help choose the winner of the 2017 Bluestem Award. The award is designed for students in grades 3-5 who are ready for longer titles than are found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles (grades 6-8). Named in honor of the Big Bluestem, the state prairie grass, the award includes both timeless classics and current titles.
Students may read these books on their own, but we will also be reading some of these titles in library class as time allows. We have at least one copy of each title in the ES library, and students are also welcome to visit their local library and check them out there. Students need to read 4 (Bluestem) or 5 Monarch books to be eligible to vote, but of course can read up to all 20 books on their particular list. They will then come to library class and tell me what books they have read as they finish them. We will be keeping track of their progress together. Then, sometime in late February or early March, the students will vote for their favorite books and we will send in our final choices.
We are very excited about participating in an event with so many other schools and public libraries across Illinois.
The third, fourth and fifth grade classes also learned about how to use a Thesaurus and found out who Peter Roget was and how he came up with the idea for a book to help you choose just the right word by reading The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet.
Have a wonderful weekend!