Sunday, February 15, 2015

Timeline of a Reader

Do you ever think back to a favorite book you read as a child?  The following teacher collaboration took me back to my favorite memories of reading as a child...

One of our first grade teachers e-mailed and asked for books including timelines for her students and wanted to collaborate on a timeline creation project for her class.  I started looking for ideas on Pinterest and ran across this Inspired Classroom blog post.  Creating a reading timeline seemed to be the most logical decision because we have a library full of books for the kids to use to create their timelines.  Here's how I got started with the collaboration:

1.  I asked a fourth grade classroom to team with the first graders to act as mentors.  The fourth graders would be able to efficiently help the first graders find the books they needed in the library as well as provide direction in the creation of the students' timelines.

2.  I polled a few teachers/staff around the building about the books they grew up reading.

3.  I used the conversations from Step #2 to create some mystery reading timelines as visual examples for the students (see mine above).  We shared the mystery timelines by looking at each book title and guessing which staff member in the building the timeline belonged to.  It was a fun way to get the kids excited about this project and creating their own timelines.

This mystery timeline belonged to our assistant principal.  We organized the books she chose in chronological order by the ages in which she read the books.
In addition to the visual timeline, our first grade teacher also created her own reading timeline on chart paper which was the format she wanted her students to create.

Our student teams began by brainstorming a list of books they've read since they were young.
They then pulled the books off of the bookshelves (this was a good practice using the library catalog and finding specific call numbers).  We asked that they find a minimum of five titles.

After the partners brainstormed and pulled their titles, they were ready to start designing their reading timelines.  We asked each child to write the age range in which they read each title, the title and author of the book, and a short description about the book.  Ex:  "I loved to read this book over and over with my mom when I was young," or, "This is the first book I could read all by myself."

Here is a closeup picture of a first grade timeline.

Another example of a timeline in progress.

When the teams were finished with their timelines, we photographed the first and fourth graders together posing with their final product.

I think this project could work successfully with students in 1st through adulthood.  Students with more experience as readers will find it easier to choose from a larger selection of books they've read.  It is fun to take a walk down memory lane and see how we've each grown as readers.

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