Literacy-Related Event

Randolph Caldecott was born on March 22, 1846.

March 22
Calendar Activity Type
Literacy-Related Event

Event Description

Randolph Caldecott was a British artist whose illustrations delighted young Victorian readers. In addition to his children's books, Caldecott also illustrated novels, created humorous drawings and cartoons, and sketched Parliament. His sculptures and paintings were exhibited in the Royal Academy and art galleries. The Caldecott Medal, named in his honor, has recognized the best illustrators in children's literature since 1938.

Classroom Activity

Create a classroom literary award modeled after the Caldecott Medal. Begin by having your students explore the history of the Caldecott and review the criteria used for selection of Caldecott winners and honor books. Then have students work in small groups or as a whole group to create a class award:

  • Select a name for the award. This may be based on the school name or mascot, or students may want to honor a student, staff member, or even their favorite author/illustrator.
  • Decide on selection criteria and create a written document.
  • Design the award, in the form of a ribbon, medal, or certificate.
  • Select a book from those read during the school year or a previous year. Have students nominate their favorites, and then write essays justifying their selections. After essays have been read aloud, have the class vote on their choice.

Share your selection with your school with a display outside your classroom or in the school library. You may wish to have students "present" the award by locating author websites to contact the authors of the selected books.


The American Library Association provides information on the Caldecott Medal and Randolph Caldecott. Link to related resources, including a list of winners from 1938 to the present.

The Randolph Caldecott Society of America offers this page, detailing the life and work of Randolph Caldecott.

Kidsreads offers information about the ALA awards, including the Caldecott Medal, honoring the best books published in the previous year.

This site offers biographies of Caldecott Medal winners, as well as links to reviews of their books, primarily at

Related Resources