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Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Read for My Summer

Read for My Summer

Beat the summer heat with engaging activities from ReadWriteThink.org.

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Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.

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Home Parent & Afterschool Resources Activities & Projects

Activity

Exploring the Library

 

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Exploring the Library

Grades 3 – 5
Activity Time 15 minutes to hours of exploring!
Activity Author

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

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Here's What To Do

  1. There are thousands of libraries around the country! Find one located near you, and plan a visit.
  2. Once you get there, get a library card. Library cards are usually free to people living in the library's district.
  3. After you have a library card, children and families can begin borrowing materials and resources. Most libraries require an adult signature for children's library cards.
  4. Ask a librarian to help you find the resources appropriate for the child's ability level. Librarians are great resources. They can answer questions and help you find books, videos, and other resources. They can even give you a tour of the library and show you all that libraries have to offer.
  5. Once you are familiar with the library, go exploring!
    • Find things that you can check out and take home to explore further: books, magazines, journals, computer software, CDs, videos, and DVDs. There are even books on tape!
    • There are often computers you can use at the library. Play games, check e-mail, surf the Web! For a small fee, you can print things from the computer, send and receive faxes and make copies.
  6. In the summer, many libraries offer a variety of special programs. Some ask children to read and record their books throughout the summer. Other libraries hold classes and camps. Check to see if there are also programs throughout the school year.
  7. Once children find a book to check out and take home, invite them to design a new cover for their book. Use paper and art supplies, or visit the Online Book Cover Creator. See the Book Cover Creator Tool page for how to use the tool and other project ideas.
  8. If you can't make it to a library this summer, visit one online! The Library of Congress is a great resource:
    The Library of Congress (LOC) is the largest library in the world and it is also the country's oldest cultural institution. It houses almost 128 million items; including books and other printed materials, recordings, photographs, maps, and manuscripts. The LOC's mission is to make its wealth of resources available to the Congress and the American people.
  9. Introduce children to the resources available at the Library of Congress Web site by conducting one of these searches:
    • See what happened this day in history.
    • Explore Immigration in America with interviews, information on immigrants from all over the world, a timeline, and more.
    • Investigate you home state's history or explore another state that interests you or that you plan to visit.
    • Select from presidents, reformers, explorers, musicians, authors, scientists, inventors, and athletes to learn more about Amazing Americans.
  10. After selecting and reading something from the library, mark it on a Reading Record.

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More Ideas To Try

  • Have a scavenger hunt in the library. Find section signs, shelf labels, spine labels, and so on. Or, locate certain genres of books-reference books, mysteries, poetry, books about animals, and so forth.
  • Invite children to problem solve, focusing on the question, "If there is a book that you really want the library to purchase, what can you do?" Children can write a persuasive letter to a librarian, requesting that a book they are interested in be added to the library collection.
  • You can also read Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary, which explores the adventures of a girl who writes a letter to the State Librarian requesting books for their new library.

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Glossary

Fiction

 

Imaginative stories written to entertain, such as novels, short stories, fables, and folklore.

Think critically

 

To think both logically and creatively about a topic using different kinds of information. When people think critically, they not only attend to new words and ideas, but they also connect these words and ideas with the things they already know.

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